EDITORIAL COMMENT: Councillors must not strike but take action against officials

Mr Christopher Dube

Mr Christopher Dube

Bulawayo councillors are reported to have gone on strike alleging sabotage by the Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube and his directors. The city fathers are accusing Mr Dube and his directors of deliberately refusing to implement council resolutions.

The councillors from the Future Water Supplies and Action committee have said they will not sit as a committee until council officials repair boreholes which have not been functioning for a long time in the different wards.

The councillors said they reported these broken down boreholes more than six months ago but nothing has been done by council officials that are supposed to repair them. The city has 338 boreholes and 43 of them are not functioning which has prompted members of the Future Water Supplies and Action committee to boycott committee meetings.

The committee members were supported by fellow councillors at last Wednesday’s full council meeting. The other councillors said they will also boycott all council meetings to force officials to implement council resolutions.

The councillors said officials were mandated to implement council resolutions and accused Mr Dube and his directors of sleeping on duty. The councillors said they were now being blamed by residents yet it was council officials who were failing to execute their duties.

“Out in the wards we are now being labelled failures because residents are not aware that that we pass the necessary resolutions but someone in office decides not to implement the resolutions,” said Clr Mlandu Ncube.

Cowdray Park councillor, Collet Ndhlovu said it was unfortunate that council staffers were operating against development hence the decision by councillors to take such drastic measures.

We totally agree with councillors that officials should implement council resolutions but it seems councillors are not getting to the bottom of the problem.

Councillors should establish why officials are not implementing resolutions especially those resolutions meant to improve the residents’ welfare such as repair of boreholes. Council officials are supposed to be subordinate to councillors and as such cannot refuse to implement resolutions passed by council.

We have already alluded to the fact that councillors should get to the bottom of the problem instead of rushing to take irrational decisions such as going on strike. How does one strike against his or her own subordinate?

Councillors led by the Mayor, Clr Martin Moyo have powers to discipline council officials including the Town Clerk and his directors in the event of them failing to perform to expectations.

What councillors are saying is that the officials have the required resources to implement council resolutions but are deliberately sabotaging development which is a serious dereliction of duty.

We challenge Clr Moyo and his councillors to establish the reasons behind this failure to implement council resolutions and if it is true that the officials are just sabotaging development, then heads must roll. Councillors instead of whipping the errant officials into line, are shooting themselves in the foot by boycotting meetings.

The councillors that boycott meetings are failing in their mandate of representing residents who voted them into office and deserve to be removed. We want at this juncture to implore councillors not to take decisions that short-change residents such as boycotting meetings.

What is coming out clearly is that the Bulawayo City councillors are not aware of their mandate hence these illogical decisions which do not resolve the problems faced by the city.

We want to once again call upon Clr Moyo and his team to get to the bottom of the problem and address this issue of officials failing to implement council resolutions.

Article Source: The Chronicle