Just like the national government, local councils have been failing when it comes to service delivery. Most don’t offer basic sanitation services like refuse collection, working sewer systems, regular water among other things. This has been attributed to various reasons and often the national government and councils have accused each other of sabotage. What is unforgivable however is when a failing city council introduces a $5 000ZWL in its bylaws where residents will be fined if they fail to display their house number. This is what the Bulawayo City Council recently did and the city’s residents are not amused.

The council also passed a law requiring people who burn rubbish, grass or other combustible material to first obtain permission from the council before doing so. This effectively means not only is rubbish not being collected by the council but now people need permission to burn that rubbish. In addition to this, the council has also asked those with vacant and unbuilt stands to cut grass or again risk being fined. Never mind the fact that the council itself is failing to do these things it’s asking its residents to do.

Naturally, residents reacted strongly to these laws with many asking why the council was asking people to do what they themselves had failed to do.