AN article in the Herald last week, quoting Harare council’s public relations officer Leslie Gwindi, said the problems being experienced in providing water to the city were partly due to employees taking unapproved leave!
This latest excuse would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragically obvious to everyone it is yet another desperate attempt to prevent the truth from emerging.
It is impossible to count the many ridiculous explanations we have been thrown over the past few years to account for the lack of water!
We’ve had them all – demand exceeds supply, yet the city continues to expand with developments in every direction; insufficient equipment to provide water – yet there are empty bowsers parked and forgotten, sometimes for months on end; burst pipes that continue to bleed our precious water unattended inspite of repeated requests by the public to do something. This list goes on and on.
Last Friday, the Herald claimed the problems were due entirely to the MDC councillors who abandoned the city after creating havoc.
Councillors do not run the city – they represent the citizens who elected them, to deliberate and reach decisions on matters concerning the city’s welfare.
It is the municipal officials who monitor and maintain the basic structure of the city and its equipment. Councillors are not city engineers tasked with switching on water supplies or ensuring the water sources are not contaminated, nor are they labourers employed to fill in the yawning potholes in our roads. We employ the director of works to oversee these vital services.
Councillors are not elected to patrol the suburbs or pick up our dustbins. It is the job of the municipal employees or those who are hired by the city to remove refuse at great expense to the ratepayers.
When it comes to adding insult to injury, the city continues to demand payment from its own “employers” (ourselves) for services we don’t receive.
I agree with the Herald’s comment – this is nothing less than extortion!
This is not the time to expound on political culpability. People’s lives are at risk! Life is far more important than aiming for political gain through the misery of thousands who are suffering as a result of incompetence and gross negligence by the very employees we pay.
It would be well for those who point their fingers to remember there are three fingers pointing back at themselves. It is to them we look for clarification as to why this appalling state of affairs continues.
Alderman Susan Colquhoun,