Harare City Council admits to its failures

HARARE City Council has admitted that it failed to properly deliver services to residents, resulting in the Government intervening to save the situation especially on some roads and water treatment chemicals.

As the year 2022 comes to an end on Saturday, City of Harare is still struggling to address water challenges, burst sewer pipes, poor public lighting, and on-collection of refuse which has resulted in the emergence of illegal dumpsites and medieval diseases such as typhoid and dysentery.

Further, construction on wetlands continues unabated due to illegal parcelling of land by council officials.

Council is also failing to rehabilitate roads, with most of them now difficult for motorists to navigate, increasing the cost of vehicle repairs for owners.

Giving an end-of-year message to stakeholders yesterday, Harare mayor Jacob Mafume admitted that council failed to provide decent services to the residents and Government had to chip in.

“It remains a profound responsibility that we carry and as such we are not ashamed to talk about our shortfalls,” he said.

In terms of garbage collection, council struggled after its fleet reached an all-time low of six refuse compactors which were expected to service the 46 wards in Harare.

The fleet was affected after council failed to either repair the compactors or buy new ones due to incompetence.

Said Mayor Mafume: “Our city is faced with huge challenges in areas of waste collection, transportation and disposal. 

“In April 2022 our fleet availability was at six compactors out of a requirement of 46 trucks. That is why we witnessed a proliferation of illegal dumps in residential areas.

“The fleet has increased to an average of 19 refuse compactors per day due to the new ones (some bought using devolution funds) and the others that have been repaired. Your council agrees that waste management is at its lowest, but we are doing all what we can under the prevailing circumstances.”

Harare City Council also failed to meet the demand for clean water by Harare residents after it failed to put in place measures to get a steady supply of water treatment chemicals.

“The momentum was only derailed by the erratic supply of aluminium sulphate, a critical chemical in the water production value chain. This problem began in August,” said mayor Mafume.

Mafume said Harare’s 4 500km road network have been over the years deteriorated due to failure by council to routinely maintain it.

At the beginning of the year, 18 roads were earmarked for rehabilitation but council failed to rehabilitate them.

This resulted in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development taking over some.

Mayor Mafume also said they had various other challenges in other sectors including planning, housing and social welfare, stadia, informal sector, health, emergency services, development control, and city enforcement.

President Mnangagwa has already expressed concern over the incompetence of authorities’ running the affairs of councils.

He called on people living in towns and cities to take advantage of next year’s harmonised elections to vote out incompetent councillors so that the various challenges they are contending with are immediately addressed by Zanu PF.

Opposition politicians including Nelson Chamisa have admitted that opposition parties have failed to run urban areas in a manner expected by residents.

Some opposition activists who disguise themselves as political analysts have also conceded that the CCC has not demonstrated capacity to the country after failing to prove itself in local councils. – Herald

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