The recall of Councilors in Bulawayo has created a leadership vacuum at community level which has pushed residents to the periphery of local governance processes.
A resident from Mpopoma suburb, Jacqueline Ndlovu spoke to Infocus News highlighting that the recalls have crippled health service delivery and women have been most affected.
“The recall of our Councilor has left a very big gap in terms of health service delivery. Our clinics do not have enough staff which has made it hard especially for women to access medical attention at the clinic. Without a councillor to represent us in Council, we have been silenced,” she said.
Ndlovu said the recently recalled Councilor had initiated a program of repairing sewer pipes around the whole suburb but the community fears it will no longer be finished as the councilor has been recalled.
“This area has been affected by sewage for a long time and we hoped that our issues would be solved. However, at this moment, we fear that the project may not be a priority for the Councilor who will be elected during by-elections,” she added.
Ndlovu said: “For those who are vendors, their hope of getting vending spaces has been shattered because our Councilor was working towards acquiring vending bays for traders. It is now going to take a while for informal traders to find proper working spaces,” she said.
Nobuhle Mpofu said residents have noted a change in the refuse collection and attributed the issue to lack of representation in the council chambers.
“Our refuse collection has been poor since our Councilor was recalled. We think that this is because no one is there to stand for our needs and prioritise. This has affected us because citizens are now resorting to throwing litter at undesignated places,” she said.
Another resident, Priscilla Tshabalala said the effects have been different for everyone as some did not enjoy the benefits of having a Councilor in the ward whilst some did.
“The effects of not having a Councilor in our ward are different for everyone. Some individuals are seeing a change because they were being favoured by the Councilor. However, for those who did not have these benefits they are not seeing any change.”
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