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Mnangagwa says govt won't hesitate to kick out inept councils

by Staff reporter
23 Oct 2023 at 06:15hrs | Views
President Mnangagwa has emphasized the commitment of the Second Republic to ensuring the functionality and responsiveness of all local authorities, irrespective of their governing bodies, in addressing the health needs of Zimbabweans. This commitment is in response to recurring, preventable health crises that pose a threat to the nation's goal of achieving upper-middle-income status by 2030. The President's concerns stem from recent cholera outbreaks attributed to mismanagement by opposition-led local authorities.

In his weekly article for The Sunday Mail, President Mnangagwa expressed that these health failures could have been averted if the opposition-run councils had fulfilled their mandate to provide efficient services and amenities. As a result, the government remains prepared to intervene in cases where local authorities demonstrate incompetence and an inability to serve the public effectively.

The President stated, "I am pleased that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works is addressing this challenge to ensure that all local authorities, regardless of their control, become functional and responsive to residents' public health needs. We have lost too many lives due to significant public health failures that could have been prevented by the provision of efficient services and amenities. The government will not hesitate to step in when local authorities exhibit lackluster performance, thereby endangering our people."

The issues of uncollected garbage and malfunctioning sewer systems were also addressed. President Mnangagwa stressed the need for comprehensive renovation and reform of local authorities in Zimbabwe to prevent periodic outbreaks of preventable diseases, despite the presence of numerous untapped water bodies.

The President indicated that the Second Republic was actively working on major dam projects such as Gwayi-Shangani and Kunzvi dams to meet the country's water demands. Simultaneously, the drilling of 35,000 boreholes across the nation's 35,000 villages would be accelerated to ensure no one and no place is left behind in the country's development agenda. The completion of these projects is expected to contribute to the eradication of public health crises like cholera.

President Mnangagwa highlighted the role of service delivery as a fundamental solution to combating health crises, emphasizing that efforts should extend beyond relying solely on drugs, clinics, and hospitals. He acknowledged that cholera outbreaks were exacerbated by squalid conditions, lack of clean drinking water, poor hygiene, sanitation, and poverty-related vulnerabilities.

The President underscored the importance of aligning Zimbabwe's rapid urbanization with the development and availability of modern social amenities and infrastructure. He noted that urbanization in rural areas was on the rise, necessitating the development of modern amenities, efficient reticulation, and waste management technologies.

President Mnangagwa also addressed the impact of global climate change, which, coupled with epidemics, poses a public health crisis. Climate change, marked by reduced rainfall and extreme temperatures, increases the likelihood and rapid spread of communicable diseases. The energy supply crisis, particularly in terms of electricity, further compounds the challenges faced in providing clean water to the population.

In conclusion, the President stressed the urgency of a comprehensive national response to address climate change and epidemics, as these factors could lead to severe public health crises if left unaddressed.

Source - The Herald