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Mnangagwa, elected officials renege on election pledge

by Staff reporter
04 Mar 2024 at 04:44hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa together with hundreds of elected officials have reneged on their pledge to enhance the provision of basic amenities to the public, a few months after they were voted into office, human rights defenders say.

Human rights activists have raised a red flag over the deterioration in service delivery, especially in urban areas amid a cholera outbreak.

Mnangagwa and other office holders in August last year signed the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) People's Human Rights Manifesto, pledging to promote and protect human rights through ensuring that there is efficient service delivery in residential areas.

But a follow-up on service delivery in residential suburbs by ZimRights has revealed that residents are exposed to health hazards owing to running sewage from burst sewage pipes, uncontrolled dump sites and garbage, with evidence of inconsideration by some office bearers.

In its human rights investigation report released on Thursday, ZimRights decried failure by city fathers and other office bearers to uphold their pre-election and post-election promises, and the commitments made when they signed the People's Human Rights Manifesto.

"Raw sewage has been flowing inside houses and business premises in various parts of Glen View 3. Residents are in panic mode, fearing waterborne diseases," part of the report read.

"The sewage reticulation system has been neglected, exacerbating the problem. The affected area, particularly the 73 Crescent area in Glen View 3, demands immediate attention. Despite residents' reports, the response from the Harare City Council has been slow and inadequate. ZimRights calls upon relevant authorities to take immediate action to safeguard the health and well-being of Glen View 3 residents. Let us work together to prevent future cholera outbreaks and create a healthier environment for all."

Residents have on several occasions dragged local authorities to court to compel them to fulfil their mandate on service delivery.

Recently, the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) filed a High Court application seeking an order to compel council to repair broken sewage pipes.

CHRA director Ruben Akili said the continued issue of collapsed sewage pipes in Glen View 3 has not been addressed by Harare City Council although efforts have been made by the association to advocate for environmental rights.

"Central government has been reluctant to release devolution funds to the City of Harare," Akili said.

"The court judgment ordered the City of Harare to be responsive to sewer bursts."

Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba said the responses by office bearers to issues of service delivery were erratic.

"They are not serious at all," Shumba said.

"Their main focus is on personal opportunities not much for the residents. The City of Harare is operating without a functional, transparent and accountable billing system, resulting in widespread financial leakages. This is within the control of council but this has not been a priority to them."

He added: "Reports of leakages and illegal water connections along the water distribution network which have caused 60% loss of treated water have been mentioned by various council officials since 2012 but up to now they have not prioritised the replacement of underground water pipes in the neediest areas."

Source - newsday