Jabulani Sibanda hits back at council


ZANU-PF chairman for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province and former war veterans’ leader, Jabulani Sibanda has accused the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) for making claims the governing party was responsible for the illegal vending in the city.

The local authority accused Zanu PF of unlawfully allocating vendors trading spaces, causing the rampant illegal vending along pavements and streets.

But, Sibanda told Business Times that BCC was to blame for failing to manage and control illegal vendors, not ZANU-PF.

“Where are the people who used to collect garbage in the city who were permanently employed? he asked.

“Council retrenched them.”

“Council has lost itself. They did away with all these systems and brought a new culture which they inherited from political parties that came to run the council.

“These people in the streets are the very people who were taken out of employment, and they are now working within the peripheries of the city council. All refuse collection vehicles were destroyed, and garbage is now collected from one point. Now they have tendered their cousins’ trucks that are supposed to transport cattle to collect garbage.”

Bulawayo City Council has been rolling out a community based refuse collection exercise involving hiring private citizens’ trucks to collect garbage for a fee.

Sibanda accused the council of failing to pay the people contracted under the programme.

“I don’t think the boys who collect garbage are paid because they are working without protective clothing. Actually, they are just taking diseases to their homes because they are being exposed to garbage,” he said.

Sibanda said the local authority had promoted illegal vending by allowing the selling of second hand clothing from the streets.

“It’s the city council that started a programme that every weekend they exposed their ground in front of Revenue Hall for people to come and trade from there. The city council initiated that programme, it is not the people from the suburbs, it is the council.

Now the city council is failing to control that which it started. That is not the fault of my party.”

He blamed the council of neglecting the public infrastructure and running down income generating projects that it used to have.

“For instance, the estates in the western part of the city in Old Pumula and Aisleby Farm, those were projects that were bringing money to council. Now those projects have been privatised or leased out including beer gardens.

“Those entities that council was supposed to collect money from have disappeared and council cannot come up with programmes or plans that residents can live from,” he said.

Illegal vendors are now a menace on the city’s streets and last week, deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube revealed that the council had intensified crackdown on illegal vendors in the central business district, the traders have blocked some streets and pavements causing congestion.

The blitz comes at a time drug cartels are operating in the CBD under the guise of vending.

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