BPRA commemorates World AIDS Day

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) will this year join the rest of the world in commemorating World Aids Day in conjunction with various organisations in Bulawayo in activities to be held on Friday 2 December 2011 at Sekusile Shopping Centre in Nkulumane from 0900hrs to 1300hrs. The organisations include Radio Dialogue, Matabeleland Aids Council, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council, New Start, New Life, the Male Circumcision Clinic, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Bulawayo City Council, National Youth Development Trust, People Living with Aids in Zimbabwe, Nkulumane District Aids Action Committee and Nkulumane Home Based Care.
Activities to be held on the day include an Edutainment Road Show, Mobile voluntary Counselling and Testing and distribution of HIV/AIDS information. There will also be free male circumcision at the Nkulumane clinic which is a short distance from Sekusile Shopping Centre while fact sheets, pamphlets and fliers with information related to HIV and AIDS will also be distributed.
The objectives of the activities that will be held by the association are three pronged. Firstly, they will be aimed at educating people on the best practices to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS and best practices to lead a healthy and fulfilling life while HIV positive. Secondly, the activities will campaign for the universal access to antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV that are in need of the treatment and for the design and implementation of social protection strategies for people living with the virus. Third, the activities will bring attention to gender specific needs of women and girls that must be addressed in AIDS responses and declare zero tolerance for gender-based violence as it promotes the spread of the pandemic.
AIDS remains one of the leading killer diseases in the world, but especially Sub-Saharan Africa which accounts for 67 percent of HIV infections in the world, 68 percent of new HIV infections among adults and 91 percent of new HIV infections among children. Sub-Saharan Africa also accounts for 72 percent of the worlds AIDS-related deaths. Closer to home, Zimbabwe has an HIV prevalence rate of 14.3 percent, meaning that statistically, one in five Zimbabweans has HIV.
This year, World AIDS Day commemorations run under the theme “Getting to Zero” which is an allusion by the UNAIDS to its long term goal of achieving zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination against people living with AIDS and zero AIDS related deaths.

BPRA activities for the weekend (19 and 20 November 2011)

This weekend, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) will be holding two training workshops which are penciled in for Ward 25 (Nketa) and ward 18 (Magwegwe). The training in Nketa will be held on Sunday 20 November 2011 at the Early Childhood Pre-School while the one in Magwegwe will be held on Saturday 19 November 2011 at Magwegwe pre-School. The training workshops are part of the Residents Leadership Development Programme under which residents’ leaders in all of Bulawayo’s 29 wards will be trained in the Urban Council’s Act, the Environment Management Act, Gender and Participatory Budgeting. The two trainings to be held over the coming weekend will cover the Urban Council’s Act and the Environment Management Act.

Commuters bemoan police corruption

Commuter operators plying Luveve road have said they are fed up with corrupt police officers. Initially they had passed complaints about traffic police that always find faults but require bribes from the commuter operators. Currently the issue they have is with various departments of the police force as they all require bribes from the commuter operators. Some commuters witnessed riot police monitoring traffic along Luveve road and soliciting for bribes from public transport operators. The first logical thing that comes into one’s mind is that police have presented themselves with the privilege of unnecessarily soliciting for bribes even where their services are not relevant. Residents have said that by virtue of engaging in such criminal activities the police force does not deserve respect but instead security sector reform should be prioritized.

Residents continue to suffer as load shedding persists

Bulawayo residents have expressed dismay over the increase in the already rampant load shedding by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA). Residents said that it is common knowledge that load shedding will not be done away with anytime soon as the power utility, ZESA, has announced in the public media that load shedding will not cease. The power utility officials have said that the collapse of some of the electricity generating equipment at Hwange Power Station and the fact that the Bulawayo Thermal Station is not operational mean that  the electricity available is not sufficient to sustain the nation. In response to this residents have asserted that the power utility should not give excuses for its failure to maintain equipment. Part of the responsibility of the parastatal is to ensure smooth running of all its equipment and its failures should not belabor the residents.

Consultation of residents a priority

Commuter operators operating from Sekusile terminus in ward 22 have passed complaints about the lack of community engagement by service providers. It is alleged that one company, not known to residents, erected bill boards at the terminus to help commuters locate public taxis. No efforts were made to inform commuter operators of the new development as such the facilities are a white elephant. Commuters do not make use of the notices as they continue to board from undesignated areas. The commuter operators have said that had they been formally notified of the developments they would gladly make use them. They added that all service providers should engage locals in the areas they will be working in.

Residents call for community projects

Emakhandeni residents are calling on various humanitarian organisations to assist them by providing fertilizer and maize seed. Residents said that they welcome initiatives that offer sustainable development in the wards. The BPRA ward chairperson reported that there are orphans that can benefit from these schemes as child welfare is failing to cater for all their needs. It has been said that the ward has a number of volunteers that would gladly take up responsibility in nurturing the maize until harvest time then equitably distribute it to orphans and other vulnerable groups within the community.  

Poor service delivery fuels gender inequalities and global warming

As the world shifts its focus to the environmental man-made disaster of global warming, it is increasingly becoming mandatory for local leaders to ensure that they buttress international efforts to stop climate change by advocating  environmental preservation through better service provision to their citizens. In late September the world lost one such leader, Wangari Maathai, a woman of great courage who saw the planting of 30 million trees under her Green Belt Movement in Kenya.

Maathai was handed the Nobel Peace prize in 2004 for efforts to combat deforestation and promote women's rights. Poor service delivery has in many instances led to environmental degradation as society tries to meet their basic needs by taking from nature albeit without ploughing back. Often, power cuts in developing countries will lead to the cutting down of trees and the burning of fossil fuels which is unhealthy for humans when inhaled.
The incessant power shedding and failure to supply power to all parts of the country leaves many homes with little choice but to cut down trees. As part of their domestic duties, women and children are faced with the burden of looking for alternative energy sources which are usually dangerous for their health and degrades the environment. At an environment level, it must be understood that trees act as a carbon absorbent by taking in all the carbon toxins from cars, industry and burnt firewood amongst other fossils. Thus, the more trees are cut down, the lesser the ability of the environment to regulate these toxins which in turn pollute our air and also damage the ozone layer.
At a human level, nearly 2 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to indoor air pollution from household solid fuel use. Nearly 50% of pneumonia deaths among children under five are due to particulate matter inhaled from indoor air pollution. More than 1 million people a year die from chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD) that develops due to exposure to such indoor air pollution. The chronic power cuts have not yielded any sense of responsibility for the service provider Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) which has so far failed to seek out alternative energy generating means or to at least carry out safety and awareness campaigns amongst the paying residents on how to use environment safe alternative energy.
Poor service provision is the basis for many societal ills including poverty, disease and gender imbalances amongst others. Basing on definitions by various development institutions, Zimbabwe is fast becoming a fragile state. Fragile states are those where the government cannot or will not deliver core functions to the majority of its people, including the poor. They lack the will and or the capacity to manage public resources, deliver basic services, protect and support the poor and vulnerable. The failure by service providers like ZESA to invest in research and awareness campaigns to save lives and the environment points more to a lack of will than an inability to meet the needs of society. 
ZESA is not alone in its negligence. Zimbabwe’s capital city has for years been without a constant supply of clean running tap water. The second largest city Bulawayo still has no reliable water sources. The road network is in a chaotic state. Security of property in light of ZESA power cuts coupled with corruption the incapacity and infrastructural challenges facing the country’s police force plainly leaves the citizens at the mercy of both natural and man caused disasters. Refuse collection in Bulawayo currently happens once a month if at all and burst sewerage pipes are an eye sore in many parts of the country. The failure to provide more space to informal traders in the city or to liberalise vending policy in the city has led to many people practicing large scale urban agriculture to meet their food needs. This is at times at the expense of the environment.
Therefore, while governments may sit in conferences and deliberate how to circumvent the “natural” disasters caused by climate change, it is ironic that the policies made by the same governments at a national level thwart these efforts and even go further in worsening the situation. For instance, if the Zimbabwe government does not change policy to allow more players in the power supply market, then Zimbabweans will continue to cut down trees. If the government does not reverse the centralised system of power then peripheral development will continue at a slow pace affecting the capacity of local authorities to efficiently access resources to offer better services.
It is women who suffer the most from poor service delivery which drastically reduces their quality of life. Due to the fact that it is women citizens who are in charge of cleaning up their homes and thus getting rid of domestic refuse, they are the ones usually forced to dump rubbish in undesignated areas when city council does not collect rubbish regularly. This increases the amount of non-biodegradable left unmanaged in the environment and which can further pollute our water sources. Furthermore, in order to cut costs and meet their basic food needs, it is mainly women who practice large scale urban agriculture and in-turn face economic losses when their crops are cut down by city council authorities. When women cut down trees to meet their families’ energy needs, they face the risk of arrest, health deterioration from cutting, carrying and burning of these trees. At worst women even have to use sex to gain access to land with lots of  firewood and to avoid arrests. The current situation is a clear indication that gender and environment discussions are still a cosmetic issue not implementable at grassroots levels because policies still work against the majority poor and marginalized groups. It is thus important that leaders and service provider think critically about the impact of certain laws, actions and failure to provide adequate services to different groups of customers. Policy evaluations must ensure that no laws encourage further environmental damage or gender inequality.

Early tests can help prevent breast cancer

A few months ago Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, a disease that claims thousands of lives in Zimbabwe and Africa annually. Cancer, which manifests itself in different forms has become very common in African in last few decades with breast cancer being one of the most fatal types especially for African women. Breast cancer is caused by the growth of malignant tumors (cancerous cells) in the milk producing glands of the breast. Overtime these cells can invade nearby healthy breast tissue and make their way into the underarm lymph nodes which work to clean out foreign substances in the body.
While the disease can be detected early and in such cases be treated or even redressed, the expenses related to its treatment, a lack of information and proper medical facilities to manage the disease in Zimbabwe has led to a number of deaths from it.
"There is so much stigma that remains against breast cancer, and that's particularly true in Africa," says Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "A woman who gets breast cancer in Africa is afraid her husband will leave her and that she will be ostracized by society, and even lose her children if she admits she has breast cancer."

While the above are extreme examples of the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the disease, even more immediate challenges face Zimbabwean women who usually have no sense of where to go for help or how to begin to fight this disease. Zimbabwe’s medical facilities are so far not adequately equipped to treat most types of cancers forcing those with money to seek treatment in South Africa as has been done by DPM Khuphe and her counterpart in government Vice President John Nkomo who also suffers from another form of cancer.  However for most Zimbabweans, more so women, who are not well resourced enough to seek treatment outside, being diagnosed with the disease is as good as a death sentence.  
There has been a significant rise in breast cancer cases amongst women in developing countries over the last few decades. While the World health organisation states that 30% of cancer cases are curable, close to half a million women died from breast cancer in 2008. As such, Government, health organisations, civic society and individuals have a lot to do when it comes to raising awareness on breast cancer. While a lot of due work has been done to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS related cases, a refocus on some avoidable or manageable diseases must also be made to ensure that no unnecessary resources are spent on cure instead of prevention.
While many believe breast cancer to be hereditary or to run in family genes, researchers have found that only 5-10% of cases are inherited from a mother or father. This means that almost 90% of cases are caused by the “aging process and way of life”[4]. In other words there are certain things one can do in their day to day life to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
Experts recommend that maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting the intake of alcohol, totally cutting out smoking and a healthy diet can all contribute to the reduction of risk of contracting breast cancer. However this does not cancel out the need for regular mammograms which are scans to detect the presence of cancer producing cells in the body. These are better done annually but are very expensive and facilities are out of reach for many women especially in the rural areas.
At the burial of Tongai Moyo, a prominent musician who died of cancer recently, DPM Khuphe revealed that she and the late Moyo had been working on a project to set up a cancer center[5] to help bring awareness to the disease as well as to garner support for cancer patients in Zimbabwe. Considering that many people still do not know about the diseases, this is a welcomed development that would most like boost similar efforts to combat the disease.

It would indeed be noble for government to ensure that mammogram tests are available at all government hospitals and community health facilities at a subsidized cost or free of charge. Campaigns to raise awareness and to get women tested must go beyond just holding workshops in the month of october to ensuring that a nationwide test drive for breast cancer is carried out annually in the same mould as the child vaccination campaign carried out twice annually to reduce child mortality rates. It is thus our hope that the Cancer center, once set up, may be the starting point for wider concentration on the effects of breast cancer and the drive to raise awareness on how to manage or fight the disease.

BPRA demonstration against ZESA a success

Almost a thousand Bulawayo residents yesterday (Thursday 27 October 2011) took to the streets protesting poor service delivery by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and demanding the return of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station to the residents. The demonstration was organised by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA). The demonstration began at 1000hrs at the large City Hall and proceeded to the ZESA Regional Offices where a speech was given by the BPRA Chairperson, Mr Reason Ngwenya.

The demonstration was aimed at demanding:
·         The return of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station to the ownership of the people of Bulawayo
·         Full compliance with the ruling of the Competition and Tariffs Commission (CTC) to reduce charges by 43 percent.
·         Compensation for all people whose properties were damaged by power surges
·         Reduction in load shedding and adherence to load shedding schedules.
·         Exemption of disadvantaged people such as the elderly and orphans from immediate power disconnections for failure to meet payment obligations.

 Please visit http://facebook.com/uhlelo.lwezakhamizi for pictures of the demonstration

Residents to demonstrate against ZESA


Date:               24 October 2011

Bulawayo residents under the auspices of Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) will on Thursday 27 October 2011 stage a demonstration against the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), protesting poor service delivery by the company and demanding the return of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station to the residents. The demonstration will begin at 1000hrs at the large City Hall and proceed to the ZESA Regional Offices where a petition will be handed to ZESA regional management.

Central in the objectives of the demonstration is the return of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station into the hands of residents through the Bulawayo City Council (BCC). Residents believe that if the BCC assumes control of the power station, it will do better in ensuring that the people of Bulawayo get better access to electricity at lower prices.

The grievances that residents have with ZESA’s conduct include high tariffs, unscheduled load shedding, slow reaction to faults, failure to follow the ruling of the Competition and Tariffs Commission (CTC), disconnections for households with outstanding bills and failure to compensate people whose properties were damaged by power surges.

The demonstration will be held on the first anniversary of another demonstration against ZESA that was held on 27 October in 2010. A year on, ZESA has made no progress in improve its service delivery, with standards sliding further while the parastal’s executives drive luxury cars and earn fat salaries. On the other hand, residents continue to spend long hours without electricity, spending fortunes on candles and firewood. The parastal has also failed to appreciate the dire economic situation that the country finds itself in, charging exorbitant tariffs when most people are unemployed while those who are employed are earning paltry salaries. Also, ZESA has made no effort to consider the plight of disadvantaged sectors of society such as senior citizens, pensioners and orphans whose electricity is also disconnected when they fail to pay bills.

The demonstrations is thus aimed at demanding:
  • The return of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station to the ownership of the people of Bulawayo
  • Full compliance with the ruling of the Competition and Tariffs Commission (CTC) to reduce charges by 43 percent.
  • Compensation for all people whose properties were damaged by power surges
  • Reduction in load shedding and adherence to load shedding schedules.
  • Exemption of disadvantaged people such as the elderly and orphans from immediate power disconnections for failure to meet payment obligations.
  • That ZESA should work on its flawed billing system and stop estimating bills.


Date:               19 October 2011

BPRA calls for transparency in handling of DIMAF

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Associations (BPRA) is calling for transparency in the administration of the US$ 40 million that was availed by treasury for the revival of industry in Bulawayo under the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (DIMAF). While welcoming the fund as a step in the right direction with regards to resuscitating industry in Bulawayo, BPRA believes measures should be put in place to ensure that the funds reach the intended beneficiaries, ailing businesses in the city. In line with this, the association proposes that there should be thorough vetting and verification in the handling of the funds to ensure that business operators from outside Bulawayo do not get the funds at the expense of local operators.

Firstly, the vetting and verification procedure should look into the history of the companies seeking funds to ensure that they are companies that have always operated in Bulawayo. Consonant with this, the shareholding/ownership structures of the companies should be tracked to ensure that there have been no suspicious ownership changes or takeovers in recent months as people from outside Bulawayo seek to get their hands on the funds through acquiring Bulawayo based firms.

Secondly, measures should be put in place, for instance through binding contracts, to ensure that companies that benefit from DIMAF do not relocate to areas outside Bulawayo after accessing the funds. The contracts could for example tie companies to Bulawayo for ten years.
Importantly, BPRA proposes that the funds should only be awarded to companies on the basis of clear and concise business proposals showing how the company will utilise the money to eventually make a profit. Companies with no clear business strategy should not be given the funds. This would ensure that the US$40 million, although insufficient on its own to revive Bulawayo’s waning industry, is put to optimum use.

In addition, BPRA proposes that the government should ensure that the companies that benefit from DIMAF employ Bulawayo residents as opposed to bringing workers from outside the city. This is very important as thousands of Bulawayo residents have been rendered jobless by the de-industrialisation of Bulawayo.

Lastly, for the purposes of transparency, BPRA believes that a list of all the beneficiaries of DIMAF should be made public. This is the main way that can be used to ensure that the funds are received by the intended beneficiaries. Should any undeserving company or individual receive the funds, publicising a list would serve the function of naming and shaming corrupt stakeholders in the administration of the funds.

Bulawayo suburbs marred with illegal dumpsites

Residents from Bulawayo’s 29 wards have expressed disappointment towards the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) for its continued failure to deliver its services diligently. Most high density suburbs are marred with illegal dumpsites due to the fact that the city council is failing to collect refuse frequently and efficiently. Most residents are therefore forced to keep rubbish heaped in their yards. As the heaps grow bigger residents then resort to dumping the refuse in bushes or trenches around the suburb. While there is a fine for embarking on environmentally unfriendly activities like dumping refuse on undesignated places in residential areas, policing on the ground is minimal, hence the proliferation of rubbish dumps in residential areas. This is an imminent health hazard especially considering that the rainy season has just started. Cholera, a scourge that has previously hit the country, could strike again. Residents also complained that the city council was giving ground for multiple problems to occur. If the people get any form of infection, as a result of the BCC’s failure to deliver, clinics will fail to cater for them as well because they are under capacitated. The city council has been urged to revise its priorities and focus on what matters most to the people. Residents are aware that the council claims to have three refuse collection vehicles yet it still fails to improve refuse collection.

Maintenance of the natural habitat should be a priority

Residents from Mahatshula medium density suburb in Ward 3 that took part in BPRA’s inaugural tree planting day commemorations that were held in May 2011 have reported that the trees they planted have only been watered twice in the past four months. On the day of the commemorations it was stated that the city council employees in the various wards that took part in the commemorations would be responsible for watering the trees using council mobile bowsers. Residents said they only witnessed the watering on two occasions. The residents have stressed that the local authority should communicate with residents on a regular basis so that residents are well versed with critical issues of service delivery in their area – issues such as that of provision of resources for maintenance of recreational facilities such as parks and soccer pitches. The residents suggested that BCC should drill a borehole that will provide water to the residents in the area. The same borehole could be used to water the wilting trees that were planted in May 2011. Bulawayo has been hard hit by deforestation as residents fetch firewood as a substitute for electricity on a daily basis. Due to this, it is important for the city fathers to proactively take part in initiatives aimed at restoring the environment. BPRA believes that maintenance of the environment is a critical component of sustainable development, hence its commemoration of World Environment Day in May 2011.

Parasite infested areas need urgent attention

Nkulumane residents have stated that BCC should, as part of its budget priorities, consider procuring pesticides. The suburb has a number of streams that are known to be breeding ground for parasites. Residents have therefore appealed to the city council to see to the provision of pesticides before the rainy season begins. Residents have said that this is not the season for cutting grass but the only option available to curb the challenge facing them is to spray well in time before mosquitos and other such parasites infest residential areas. BPRA ward secretaries for health have previously conducted clean up campaigns in the city and in some instances paid particular attention to specific worst affected areas. Considering the importance of maintaining cleanliness and avoiding health hazards, residents have said that they will dedicate their time to spraying worst affected areas if the municipality or other willing organisations provide the necessary equipment and pesticides. It is on record that residents have volunteered to work with various organisations, like as BPRA, Zimbabwe Democracy and Development Trust (ZDDT) and World Vision to name a few, for the betterment of the community.

BPRA activities for the week (10 October to 15 October 2011)

This week, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) will be holding four consultative meetings and a local governance symposium as part of the Ideas Festival that is on this week. The four consultative meetings will be held in ward 11 (Emakhandeni Hall), ward10 (Entumbane Hall) ward 15 (Luveve Beit Hall), and in Ward 19 (Old Pumula Hall) on Tuesday 11 October 2011 (2pm – 4pm), Wednesday 12 October 2011 (11am-1pm), Wednesday 12 October 2011 (2pm – 4pm) and Thursday 13 October 2011 (2pm –4pm) respectively. The meetings will discuss issues of service delivery in the wards, and will be attended by the respective ward councillors. The local governance symposium will be held at Stanley Hall in Makokoba on Friday14 October 2011 from 8am to 4pm.

Residents fume over council housing policy

Residents in Bulawayo have expressed dismay with the Bulawayo City council (BCC) as it has emerged that women with children cannot apply for housing stands unless they do so with their spouses or produce proof that the father of the child is deceased. Effectively, this means that single mothers are illegible to apply for stands. Although the city council’s public relations department disputed this, investigations by BPRA proved this to be true. Officers handling applications for stands revealed that the policy was designed to prevent couples from acquiring more than one stand on the pretext that they have separated. This has been seen by women in the city, especially single mothers as an affront to the right of single mothers to have decent shelter, and also as a form of discrimination against single women. Residents argued that single mothers should be allowed to seek housing stands just like their married counterparts, and like everyone else.

Exempt the elderly from power disconnections

Residents from Njube, Luveve and Mabuthweni in Bulawayo are calling for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) to exempt senior citizens from power disconnections for failure to pay outstanding rates. This comes as the parastatal has intensified disconnections, moving into the suburbs in the last fortnight. Already, hundreds of households across the city have been disconnected for debts ranging from US$200 to over US$1000. Residents reason that the elderly should be exempted from disconnections as they are already on retirement and therefore unable to earn salaries that can meet all obligations since pensions are currently very low, with some pensioners getting below US$50 a month. Meanwhile, residents say they are irked by the power disconnections as they show that ZESA is not concerned about the plight of the people, most of whom are unemployed or earn paltry salaries and hence cannot effort to pay ZESA. Residents also believe that the rates are exorbitant in light of the economic climate prevailing in the country.

Notes from the BPRA Service Delivery Conference

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association held its service delivery conference on Sunday 11 September 2011 at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. The Conference, attended by more than 2000 residents’ leaders from the structures of the association, was meant to provide a platform for interaction between residents and service providers. This is in fulfilment of the mandate of the association which is to ensure full participation of residents in issues of service delivery as a way of ensuring transparency and accountability. Residents got the opportunity to interact with service providers from TelOne, ZESA, and Bulawayo City Council.  Also in attendance were civic society leaders from Crisis Coalition, Bulawayo Agenda, ZESN, ZCTU, National Youth Development Trust, Professional Drivers Association, ZICEA, representatives from political parties, councillors, Members of Parliament and residents associations namely Combined Harare Residents Association, Gwanda Municipality Ratepayers Association, Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association, Plumtree Residents Association and Bulawayo United Residents Association. The following is a summation of issues raised by residents against service providers and the commitments made by the different service providers. 

Issues Raised by Residents
Commitments made by Service provider
Action to be taken by BPRA
·         Disconnection of lines

·         Unavailability of TelOne facilities in some wards

·         Unclear billing system

·         If residents approach the offices and make payment plans, they will be reconnected.

·         Efforts are being made to ensure that the whole of Bulawayo has access to TelOne lines.

·         Residents with billing problems should approach TelOne staff for clarification on their bills.

·         Charging no interest on overdue accounts, telephone extensions and reconnection fees ( to be reviewed when the economy stabilizes),

·         Make follow up consultative meetings to map/monitor commitments and resolutions made by TelOne.

·         Gather grievances and complaints raised by residents and engage TelOne

·         Mobilise residents to monitor TelOne.
·         Failure to follow the monthly schedule of refuse collection.

·         Disconnection of Water for residents

·         Ownership of houses for Mabuthweni and Pelandaba residents

·         Engagement of debt collectors to deal with debts from residents

·         Council should budget for more dams and resuscitation of recreational facilities

·         Council should stop harassment and ensure viability of informal trading.

·         Why is maternity fees still charged at $50 instead of the $30 mentioned by the mayor?

·         A proper refuse collection schedule to be produced and distributed to residents through the structures of the association.

·         Residents need to make payment plans with council staff prior to reconnection.

·         Council will debate it upon receipt of official correspondence from the residents and local councilor.

·         Improving the frequency of refuse collection to at least twice a month compared to once a month which BCC is currently capacitated to do.

·         Residents should push for the resuscitation of recreational facilities in the budget.

·         Cushioning the plight of those who lose their jobs to closing companies by providing them with vending stalls

·         Immediately attending to the problem of maternity fees.

·         BPRA shall distribute refuse collection schedules and monitor the local authority.

·         BPRA shall organize ward consultative meetings to encourage residents to make payment plans.

·         A special meeting to discuss the ownership of houses in ward 13 shall be organized to come up with a clear action plan.

·         BPRA to produce a document on the council’s budget priorities.

·         Keeping track of new vending stalls to be availed by council.

·         Monitoring compliance by council staff

·         Return the thermal power station to the local authority

·         Corruption by ZESA officials

·         The winter load shedding schedule was availed. Why is the summer one not being availed considering that electricity consumption is low during this time of the year.

·         Disconnection of electricity

·         Unavailability of electricity in places such as Emganwini and Cowdray Park.

·         Flawed billing system

·         The return of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station to the Bulawayo City Council is a policy issue which residents need to push at policy not implementation level.

·         Task-force teams should be set up to ensure that ZESA and residents thwarts corrupt ZESA officials

·         Load shedding schedules will be produced and when they are changes they shall be communicated.

·         Residents need to come to ZESA offices to make arrangement for payments.
·         Making special provisions for the elderly who come forward to make payment arrangements depending on how much they can afford to pay.

·         Work shall begin in the next 6 months to ensure that there is electricity throughout Bulawayo.

·         Setting up a gas power station in Lupane which is part of an extension drive to provide adequate energy in the country.

·         Installing 2 additional machines in each of the country’s 5 power-generating stations (Bulawayo, Hwange, Kariba, Munyati and Harare).

·         ZESA is working on making sure that everybody uses a prepaid meter

·         Residents shall mobilize MPs to push for the retaining of the Bulawayo Thermal Power station.

·         BPRA shall arrange meetings to alert residents on the hazards of bribing ZESA officials.

·         BPRA, through its ward committees shall monitor the timetable

·         BPRA shall organize meetings to encourage residents to pay bills no matter how little it can be.

·         Constant engagement with ZESA shall be maintained to ensure fair billing and availability of electricity.