Dying city


Despite pleas for almost the greater part of 1991 and 1992, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city and the country’s major industrial base, is slowly dying while the government continues to watch, undisturbed from their ivory towers in Harare.

It must have come as a shock to many to discover that despite all the talk that the government was stepping in to help, the matter has not even been discussed by the cabinet.

Worse still it looks the government is not even prepared t listen to the views of the people of that city, who elected them into power. This is amply demonstrated by the government’s refusal to allow church leaders to undertake a peaceful demonstration in the city to highlight their dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the crisis.

Even leaders from Matebeleland who were quite outspoken about the water crisis are now quiet. Maybe they were silenced by the promotions accorded to them or they were worried about their uncertain future when Members of Parliament initially resisted their salary increments?

Whatever the case, it is now time for the people of Bulawayo to be more aggressive. In Harare people are now being encouraged to use 1 000 litres a day, more than five-days’ allocation for Bulawayo’s flat-dwellers. Isn’t there someone who can bring this up?

It is only the people of Bulawayo who will suffer if they do not do something about their plight. Governments are well known for talking without doing anything and the recent disclosure that the project is not even on the cards proves this.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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