By Margret Chogugudza
There was a drama last week on Wednesday at a local hotel as the citizens of Chitungwiza protested for food after the municipality failed to secure enough food and water for the participants who attended the Local Environmental Action Plan (LEAP) programme that was facilitated by Environmental Management Authority (EMA) personnel.
Speaking to Chitownews the participants said the LEAP programme was a disappointing as the municipality failed to provide tea, sufficient water and lunch for participants.
Drama started as early as 8 30 am when participants arrived at the venue found the meeting locked as the municipality had not paid for it.
It took nearly 2 hours for participants to access the venue after the municipality finally managed to pay for the venue and lunch for 80 participants.
Drama would continue as the meeting progressed as the Municipal organizer only brought bottles of water that were not enough for participants despite the sweltering heat on that particular day.
As the day progressed, participants started complaining of hunger around 3 pm and the facilitators promised them that food will be served very soon as they were now rounding up.
The real drama started when the meeting finally ended and the participants were told to remain seated while the Municipal and EMA officials who were numbering more than 30 proceeded to the hotel dining to be served their lunch.
Some participants who managed to enter the dining came back to tell their colleagues that food is already being while they sit in the workshop room. Participants quickly invaded the dining room and some municipal and EMA officials who had not had their could left the line and those eating quickly finished their food and sped off in their vehicles.
Nyasha Nhau one of the participants said “The LEAP programme was a disappointing as the municipality failed to secure tea, water and lunch for the participants”.
“At first in the morning we had to wait outside because the venue had not been secured and then we were later informed that there was no tea but the major disappointment was that the municipality failed to secure enough lunch for us.,”, added Nhau.
The participants protested heavily during the lunch outside the hotel complaining that the municipality took them for granted as the officials from Environmental Management Agency and the municipality were having lunch in the dining room whilst the participants were sitting in the conference room.
Lizzy Gondoro from Ward 1 argued, “We are very angry with the treatment which we have received from our municipality as we had left our jobs and everything else to come and spend the whole day with empty stomach”.
“The fact that the municipality and EMA officials are having lunch before the rest of us all is a clear indication that the municipality is taking us for granted” added Lizzy.
Kudakwashe from St Marys said “The fact the number of the participants exceeded the number of those invited is not our problem. We have been here since morning and the council failed to provide tea for us and now they are telling us that the lunch is not sufficient”.
“This is very disappointing and tomorrow most of us will not attend because of the way we were treated by the municipality and EMA,” added Kudakwashe
The programme was convened by EMA in conjunction with the Municipality in order to come out with LEAP document for the town of Chitungwiza.
The programme was attended by the Acting Town Clerk Mr. Mucheza, Director of Housing and Community Services, District Officers, Municiapal, EMA officials and the general citizens of Chitungwiza from various wards.