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Mnangagwa's govt must at least provide the basics

28 Jun 2020 at 08:04hrs | Views
The dirty water phenomenon has final arrived in the great City of Kings and Queens. We all knew this as the trademark of Harare. The government and city fathers seem to be clueless about solving the water issue. The city fathers are even talking of recycling Khami water. One wonders that if the city fathers are failing to purify the water that we are currently having, will they be able to purify Khami water? It is not only the water that is a problem, but a lot is wrong within the city. Electricity load-shedding is also a problem, job opportunities are almost non-existent, the road network is very poor and is characterised by a lot of potholes in places where the tarmac still remains.

The stress of preparing a meal in urban Zimbabwe is no longer about choosing what to prepare, but the unaffordable cooking ingredients. Just to prepare isitshwala (sadza) and chomolia vegetables, one will need to buy mealie-meal, cooking oil and firewood/ gas, but all these items are proving difficult to afford. As if that is not bad enough, getting water to cook is now a luxury. If by chance one opens the tap and gets water, it may be hazardous to the health of the family. The preparation of that simple meal for a family to survive is proving to be a headache for many families.

The sorry state of koNtuthuziyathunqa is unfortunately the story of other urban areas in the country. The population growth in the cities has been accompanied by the decline in production as companies close. City fathers are struggling with service delivery. The youths of the city are voting with their feet. Simply put, the cities are being "ruralised". If one doubts that, let the person wait for the rainy season and see the bushy area in the city being turned into farming fields. People now move out of their homes to hunt for water and clean water is now a luxury. Use of firewood for cooking has become the norm. A new additional form of misery has been the fully packed Zupco buses with some passengers standing. Surely, the kombis where everyone had a seat except the conductor were a better form of transportation. To sum it up, the cities have regressed a lot and they are competing with rural areas to be rural in outlook.

Trying to improve the cities over the years has proved to be a very difficult task. One must ask with all this pain inflicted on both urban and rural dwellers, is it not time we adopted a new model? Surely, the current leadership cannot improve our towns and cities. Is it not time we thought about rural economics? Even though our cities have the potential to accommodate more people, they are struggling with service delivery. The government and city fathers have failed the citizens of Zimbabwe.

The government should come up with deliberate policies to improve the life of the rural citizens. Value addition of agricultural produce is key. Employment should be available in the remote areas. The road network should be improved.

The government has done nothing to improve the water situation for the people in the villages. Tap water is still a pipe dream for most people in the villages. Nongovernmental organisations have done their bit to help solve the water crisis, but without both the local and central governments' help, it means we are still a long way to go.


Source - The Standard
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