Residents irked by proposed BCC billing system

Residents have bemoaned the city council’s proposed water pre-paid billing system that will require residents to pay for water that will be allocated according to the payment made by each house hold. The city council has tabled this proposal in spite of the fact that the majority of residents earn paltry salaries and will not be able to afford to pay for water that will sustain them for the rest of the month. Child headed families and households run by elderly citizens will not have it eas

Meanwhile, Cowdray Park and Emganwini residents have gone for more than ten years without electricity connection while others still do not have access to water and other sanitary facilities. When the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) consulted Cowdray Park and Emganwini residents on the introduction of prepaid meters most residents shunned the proposition. The reaction was mainly brought by the service providers’ failure to meet the needs of the people over the past years. Residents said that they will not be flattered by pilot projects that are set to hoodwink them. They called upon BCC to instead ensure that the whole city has access to clean water and sanitary facilities.

Schools turn away pupils

A number of schools in Bulawayo have turned away pupils that failed to pay up their fees in full by the date of opening. Schools turned away pupils in defiance to statements made by the ministry of education to say that schools should not turn away pupils but deal directly with parents as they are responsible for fees. Residents reported to BPRA that schools turn away children regardless of the fact that some of them are orphans. Residents said that turning away an orphan is as good as deregistering them as there is a possibility that they may not be able to raise the fees. BPRA is encouraging school heads and school development committee members to engage parents and guardians and reach a compromise that will ensure that children access their basic right to education.

Meanwhile teachers have been threatening to strike during the first month of the academic school year. Teachers are requesting the government to review their salaries after they were not awarded bonuses last year. Bulawayo residents have said that pupils bear the brunt during strikes thus want the government to address the matter urgently. The residents said that there is no hope for improving education standards if teachers are not dedicated as a result of low remuneration.

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