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Residents demand accountability on 3% ward retention fund

Bulawayo– Entumbane residents have demanded their local councilor, Sinikiwe Mutanda, to disclose how the 2016 and 2017 3% ward retention fund, that was disbursed by Bulawayo City Council as part of the incentive for residents to honour their council bills, was used.

In her address at a Ward 10 ratepayers meeting organized by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) to update from the Member of Parliament and discussion on the proliferation of drugs in the townships with members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, she gave the residents feedback.

“In year 2016, the council allocated US$ 23,884 to the ward, in year 2017 the ward was given US$ 23,498 making a sum of US$ 47,382. The previous councilor spent US$ 13,221 and the balance is US$ 34,161,” Mutanda said.

Max Mnkandla, a resident at Entumbane, charged at the local councilor saying, “You are talking about 3% retention fund of 2017 that was given to the ward, you did not tell us how the funds were used, we need know how the USD13000 was used, we need receipts and a proper report and breakdown.”

Some residents alleged that some equipment was bought in the ward but some residents have converted it for their personal use at the expense of the ward.

Commenting on the surge of drug abuse by children and youths in the township, Peter Sadza, Chairperson for the ward resident’s association, said they have engaged the Zimbabwe Republic Police but little or nothing has been done.

He said they have joined hands with other residents’ committees and approached the Bulawayo Metropolitan Provincial affairs to try and find a lasting solution to the drug problem in the townships.

“We have decided to also seek the audience of the office of President, the sad part is that the person who is allegedly to be selling drugs to children has filed a lawsuit against us and cited defamation of character by us residents. Kids are carrying satchels with drugs to school, they are sold scones laced with mbanje,” Sadza said.

Residents also fumed against the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) for failing to fix a faulty transformer that has been down almost two months in the township. They also tasked the ratepayers committee to approach ZETDC with member of House of Assembly, Honorable Dingilizwe Tshuma, and present their grievance.

The meeting targeted various stakeholders including residents, school development committees, war vets and local business persons.

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