BULAWAYO Provincial Affairs Minister of State, Cde Judith Ncube, yesterday took a swipe at slothful public officers and blamed such attitudes for frustrating service delivery and development in the city.
Speaking during the Water, Sanitation, Energy and Industry Conference held at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in the city, a fired-up Minister Ncube said a lot of public frustration was being misdirected towards the national leadership when it was public officers manning Government departments and State enterprises who would be sleeping on duty.
“I observe that we desperately need committed and dedicated personnel. We receive lots of requests and complaints from the people about service delivery. Citizens start pointing fingers and blaming Government,” said the Minister.
“Bulawayo needs and expects the best service delivery. Ongafuni ukusebenzela koBulawayo (if you can’t work in Bulawayo) you can go somewhere else and leave us working. We will be ready to recommend such transfers.”
For instance, Minister Ncube said, she was disturbed by complaints from the community at St Peter’s near Old Pumula suburb who acquired an electricity transformer sometime in March this year but it has not been installed by Zesa workers to date. She said such delays were not only frustrating citizens but denying children in the area a critical service as they cannot participate in e-learning like their peers elsewhere.
Minister Ncube also said in some instances managers or executives were failing to supervise their subordinates and the results of such were evident even to a passerby. Such failures cannot be blamed on the national leadership, said the Minister.
She also castigated the Bulawayo City Council for continuously threatening residents with cuts on water supplies for non-payment of bills and yet no similar aggression was being shown on service delivery.
“Those are negative threats. Industry are always complaining to me over water and electricity supplies. How best can we improve so that industries can perform better? Being lax and slothful is costing us. Those who want to be transferred can raise their hands now and we’ll recommend to their ministries,” said Minister Ncube. “Akesizihlole (let’s introspect) so that we change our approaches, let’s change from our traditional ways of doing things. Bulawayo needs the best services.”
She said Bulawayo needs to be transformed in line with Government’s goals towards Vision 2030 and that such a drive requires hard workers. Minister Ncube was contributing during a plenary session after several participants had raised concerns about inadequate provision of key services such as water, energy and sanitation and how these were frustrating economic growth.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, Minister Ncube said Zimbabwe was on a renewed drive towards reviving its economy across different sectors. As such, she said, water and energy were critical cornerstones towards achieving a high growth rate and attaining an upper middle-income status by 2030. In the face of drought experienced in the last farming season, she called for increased interventions on water conservation, preservation and productive use of land.
Minister Ncube said Bulawayo, as the country’s industrial hub, was ready to play its part by working together with progressive minds in developing sustainable solutions and contributing to the country’s economy.