Residents Voices Issue 68 - BPRA

Residents Voices Issue 68


BPRA, BA and NYDT Host Devolution Conference

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA), Bulawayo Agenda and the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) on Saturday 21 January 2012 held a devolution and democracy conference, which was a resounding success. The theme for the conference was "deepening democracy through devolution. €The conference brought together academics, scholars, development and political science experts, politicians, lawyers, activists and residents' representatives to discuss the contentious issue of devolution of power and how it can lead to effective governance. The conference sought to iron out myths concerning the issue of devolution, discuss its advantages and disadvantages, analyse how other countries in Africa have implemented the concept, noting its successes and failures and come up with a model on devolution. The presentations that were made at the conference will be compiled into a journal so that members of the public can get to understand the concept of devolution of power


School summons parents over school fees

Premier High School, a privately owned learning institution in Pumula South High density suburb has issued summons to parents and guardians with outstanding balances. The summons state that fees owed to the school should be paid within a 24 hour period. One single parent reported that she has to pay $290 or have property seized by the institution. She said she owes the school tuition fees worth $232 and the added $58 goes towards payment of the messenger of court or the responsible debt collector. Some parents said the summons addressed to them were just left in their letter boxes while others said theirs were slipped under their doors. This is despite the fact that the summons require the fees to be paid up within 24 hours. Pumula South residents have previously called on the government and the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to construct schools that are affordable as the suburb has no government or local authority owned schools. They argue that the privately owned Premier High School is unaffordable for the majority of residents.


Corruption Increases at VID offices

Residents have expressed concerns by the increasing levels of corruption at the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) alleging that it is now impossible to pass the oral test for a provisional licence unless one bribes the officials. Residents say it costs as much as $80 to bribe the officials in order to obtain the license. Indications are that residents who do not bribe the officials are failed even if they score the minimum of 88 percent required to pass the test. This comes as a new dimension as previously bribing was concentrated only at the road tests to acquire full driving licences. Residents have called on the responsible authorities to act to deal with the corruption that is becoming endemic at the VID offices and other public offices such as the Registrar's office, police stations and courts. As an institution that stands for accountability in governance, BPRA has previously engaged public officials over corruption in their offices. The association looks forward to engaging officials at the VID as part of its mandate to promote a culture of transparency and accountability in public office.



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