Residents slam police silence on beheading reports
Residents of Bulawayo have attacked members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for their silence over the rampant reports of trafficking and ritual murders in the city. It appears that some individuals who have been promised Toyota Quantum (kombis) in return for human heads are on the loose, instilling a deep sense of fear and uncertainty within Bulawayo residents.
Residents have reported that incidences of trafficking are rampant, with shops in most high density suburbs awash with posters of suspects who are collaborating with syndicates and mafias in South Africa, supplying them with human heads in exchange for cars and cash. The most recent case which has knocked sense in the heads of the police force which has been in denial was the beheading of a one year old boy from Lobengula, an incident that left residents wondering about their safety.
Residents are deeply submerged in fear and some have resorted to locking their children in houses 24 hours for fear of the unknown. The rampant reports of human trafficking, murders and abductions started with the dawn of the World Cup Soccer tournament in South Africa. Residents have implored police to take the matter seriously and put roadblocks in strategic points. There has been increase in reports of children being stolen on their way to and from schools and murders linked to ritual manslaughter.
Residents speak on cabinet reshuffling
The recent cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been met with mixed feelings. Despite concerns over the nature and timing of the axing and re-deployment, residents from the region have stated that the reshuffle should ring a bell in the heads of non-performing leaders who have for years been shielded from sacking because of patronage and bootlicking.
Residents in Matabeleland feel that contrary to allegations that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC party have an agenda to oust and alienate the people of Matabeleland from power, cabinet reshuffling should be exemplary and should be understood within the contest within which it is situated. There were concerns that people from the region were merely crowded and concentrated in one office, that of the Prime Minister and there was need for deployment to other critical ministries.
The redeployment of Minister Gorden Moyo to the Ministry in charge of State Enterprises and 70 parastatals means that the region has acquired an extra ministry and is still in the helm of influence in the technical and political aspect in the office of the Prime Minister as Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe is still in charge of the political side and Dr Samukele Hadebe who was recently appointed to the post of the Principal Director is in charge of the technical side.
Minister Moyo also left a legacy after putting in place the Office of the Prime Minister which works hand in glove with cabinet and crafting the Government Work Plan which is the manual for government. The coming in of Mr Joel Gabuza as the Minister in charge of Housing Amenities means that the region is set to benefit in the resuscitation of its aged and tired infrastructure which has been sidelined for many years.
Residents not impressed by COPAC
The constitutional outreach teams which were deployed two weeks ago run the risk of being defunct as residents continuously maintain that the teams are in a pathetic, sorry shape. The process which rose to its feet recently is marred with confusion as the COPAC outreach teams continue to either misinform the residents or completely leave them in the dark.
Residents have slammed COPAC for poor administration, communication and misplaced priorities. In-fighting that has rocked the constitutional outreach process has exposed a general lack of direction and credibility of the teams as the fight has been over the appropriation of resources and looting rather than on capturing the contributions of citizens.
Residents have lamented that the use of media as the only vehicle for announcing dates, venues and times for meetings is inadequate as the papers are not easily accessible and by the time residents get hold of them, the information will be stale. In many parts of Matabeleland South, residents said there was only one poster per each meeting and the posters were only displayed at the venues and not in central places where they are likely to attract the attention of many people. There have also been concerns that politicians are not so much interested in the outreach, as in the referendum as they already have positions regarding the content of the new constitution and residents are been taken for a ride.
Consultations in major cities have been suspended because of the World Cup Soccer Tournament in South Africa and residents have stated that the premises within which the process is built are in themselves flawed and there is no way in which a genuine, people driven constitution will be penned under the prevailing circumstances. Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association has trained and deployed its members in the 29 wards of Bulawayo who will monitor and report on the proceedings.
Residents implore government to intervene in stopping seizure of assets by BCC
Residents in Bulawayo have pleaded with their elected representatives to intervene in preventing the nonprocedural and unwarrantable seizure of assets by the Bulawayo City Council. Struggling residents of Bulawayo who are grappling with underdevelopment and cross-rating have been dealt a heavy blow last week by its council which announced that it is attaching gadgets and properties of defaulting residents and auctioning them forthwith.
Residents said they never struggled with payment of their dues under the Zimbabwean dollar era and they helped sustain the council even during an ailing economy and in enabling it to maintain its privileged reputation in the region. Residents have castigated the measures taken by council stating that it is unbecoming of the current council and that elected leaders must ensure that this is stopped and repealed as a matter of urgency.
Emmanuel Ndlovu, Advocacy and Information Officer
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association