Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
THE Bulawayo City Council has started formal engagements with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) for an additional six wards to be incorporated into the city during the delimitation exercise.
Early this month, the local authority’s acting director of town planning, Mr Wisdom Siziba noted that the delimitation exercise was the opportune time for implementing and resolving the boundary change issues.
BCC last week convened a special council meeting where they formally endorsed the push to have six more wards being added to the local authority’s jurisdiction. The city has 29 wards.
According to minutes of the special council meeting, the Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube, has been instructed to work with Mr Siziba in the availing of a map for the City of Bulawayo local area and any proposed areas for incorporation.
“It is hereby recommended that the Town Clerk (Mr Dube) causes the acting director of the Department of Town Planning (Mr Siziba) to avail a map for the city of Bulawayo local area and any proposed areas for incorporation.
“That council demarcates or causes the demarcation of ward boundaries in such a manner and/or method that will produce 35 wards and that in the event of incorporation of other peri-urban areas now not currently under the administrative jurisdiction of the city of Bulawayo: the wards shall remain at 35 in number and divided in terms of the law,” reads the report.
BCC have since submitted the requests to both Zec and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
The ministry requested that council submit the proposals to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works Cde July Moyo by last Wednesday.
According to the Constitution, following a national population census, Zec is required to demarcate Zimbabwe into National Assembly constituencies and local authority boundaries, with the decision on the number of wards and boundaries thereof being the prerogative of the local authority concerned, in consultation with Zec.
According to The Presidential Proclamation 15E of 2004 and the subsequent Statutory Instruments (SI) that created the metropolitan provinces of Bulawayo and Harare, metropolitan boundaries were declared as covering a radius of up to 40 kilometres and in Bulawayo, most of those areas are under the jurisdiction of Umguza Rural District Council (RDC).
However, there has been confusion over the implementation of this SI with a number of suburbs including Mbundane and Emthunzini, in the city operating without key social amenities as BCC and Umguza RDC continue the tiff over which local authority has the responsibility to connect water and sewer reticulation systems.
Umguza RDC at one point accused BCC of trying to “steal” its land without any compensation. In terms of the areas that will be incorporated, the acting director of town planning said: “These include Reigate and Hopeville.”
There is an informal settlement at Cabatsha. Farms were also allocated near the airport on Mopane. Besides being identified for incorporation by the Master Plan, part of the area is also covered by SI 212/99 which created Ward 2.
“In the Lower and Upper Rangemore Area, the area is zoned high density residential in terms of Operative Bulawayo Master but has not yet been incorporated into Greater Bulawayo. Notable developments in Rangemore in terms of housing construction have been Emthunzini and Mbundane.”