Bulawayo under spotlight as local authorities peer review begins

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

A team of local government experts have started looking into then operations of the city of Bulawayo, under the local authorities Service Level Benchmarking Peer Review programme.

The Service Level Benchmarking Coordination Committee (SLBCC) from the cities and municipalities of Gweru, Harare, Chegutu, Redcliff, Chitungwiza and Marondera is benchmarking the city’s service deliverables in water management, water supply, solid water management, roads and public lightning as well as corporate governance.

“We are in Bulawayo to review the work that is being done by our peer. As an industrial hub, the performance of the city of Bulawayo will definitely impact on the national outlook in terms of our performance as a nation and also our contribution to the entire continent.

“There are issues that are touching on bad behaviour amongst local authorities such as personnel and even the institutions themselves .We have brought in the component of corporate governance in order for us to peer review one another in terms of the aspirations of corporate governance so that we improve the image of our nation,” said Chitungwiza Town Clerk, George Makunde who is leading the assessment team.

Makunde said after the three day review, his team will compile a report and make some recommendations.

“We are looking at five critical areas of service deliverables. In essence, we want to see how much this city is managing that process. How are communities participating in making sure that we push the agenda of cleanness and smart cities?” said Makunde.

He said his committee will also assess the city’s   waste management systems.

“The last thing which we want to see is when you look back you see human waste all over. That has to be managed. So we are looking at that because it is a critical service deliverable for which each and every local authority should be brought to book and be accountable in terms of managing that process,” said the Chitungwiza administrator.

The Chitungwiza Town Clerk said his committee will also assess the quality of service which Bulawayo residents are getting from the council.

“Where someone is paying for a service, we want to see if stakeholders and ratepayers are getting value of their money’s worth,” he said.

“There is a cost to a motorist when he or she hit a pothole. There is some wear and tear which happens there.”

Makunde said the city will also learn other best practices from other local authorities and implement them for the good of the city and its residents.

Some of the facilities and sites expected to be toured during the assessment include Umzingwane dam and booster station, Criterion treatment waterworks, Egodini Mall Site and Masiyephambili Drive Solar Street Lights.