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Govt intervenes in BCC, Zesa feud

Government is keen to mend relations between the Bulawayo City Council and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) who are locked in a fight over the ownership of the Bulawayo Power Station.

The rift has been further widened by the power utility’s controversial decision to demolish two of the iconic cooling towers at the power station.

The local authority, on the other hand, insists they are the rightful owners of the power station and Zesa has no authority to demolish the towers.

The ownership wrangle is currently before the courts.

A fortnight ago, the two entities clashed at a stakeholders meeting convened by the Energy minister Fortune Chasi in Bulawayo resulting in Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni and his delegation walking out on the minister.

Local government minister July Moyo told journalists in Bulawayo on Friday that he was keen to meet the mayor over the issue.

“Questions came to me about people walking out from a minister who had come to discuss challenges. I will be having a discussion with the mayor to understand what happened although I heard what happened from officials,” said Moyo.

The minister added that there was need for the two entities to work together.

“We have to discuss this because ministries of government have relationships with every local authority and they come to discuss.

“If there are disagreements, there are channels to be taken after all I have announced and it has been repeated by cabinet that the president will chair issue of devolution and since he is chairing, there is no need to argue but let’s write a paper that will come before president in cabinet committee he chairs that’s how you solve issues in a unitary state but that wants to be devolved,” Moyo said.

The minister said local authorities are mandated to provide quality service delivery in their localities and must work together with government entities.

“The councils have to be at the forefront of development in localities if they fail the government has to step in. Since the mayor is away, I asked the Town Clerk and chamber secretary that I want to meet with him and go over some of these issues as soon he comes back,” summed Moyo.

The Bulawayo Power Station was constructed and commissioned between 1947 and 1957 with a power generation capacity of 120MW, which has now dwindled to 30MW a day.

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