BY IRENE MOYO
BULAWAYO residents have accused the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) of abandoning Centenary Park.
Residents say the park is now an eyesore and a hotspot for criminal activities and a haven for drug dealers owing to years of neglect.
At some point, Centenary Park was a beautiful place, offering good scenery for wedding photo shoots, but it is no longer attractive for such events.
Bulawayo United Residents Association chairperson Winos Dube said: “This has been our cry for so long. The issue has been raised countless times with the local authority, but nothing has been done to restore the beauty of the Centenary Park. Council always apportion blame to the economic challenges affecting the country,” Dube said.
“One wonders what finances are needed to spruce up the park. People pay rates every month; where is the money going?
Dube added: “The place has become a hotspot for criminal activities. It is no longer safe for anyone; they risk being robbed and raped there. We urge BCC to maintain the Centenary Park as it used to.”
Bulawayo deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube said: “The Centenary Park was using recycled water to maintain its lawns. The system is no longer functional and it is hard to repair due to the economic challenges.
“People should understand that there is a priority list that council abides by. Revenues are distributed according to priorities. Sometimes some are given more attention than others. For example, the issue of adequate water supplies can be prioritised more than everything else.
“We have tried to repair the lawns in some sections, although the process has been slow. We call on all stakeholders to come up with suggestions on how best we can develop the park.”