EDITORIAL COMMENT: What purpose is council serving now?

Clr Manyenyeni

Clr Manyenyeni

We were not surprised, as we report elsewhere in today’s paper, when the City of Harare yesterday finally admitted that the water it is supplying to residents and ratepayers is unsafe and that residents ought to “exercise caution” when using it.

We had known all along that the water quality in Harare was somewhere between dodgy and dangerous outright as its physical features such as smell, taste, colour and turgidity all betrayed a product not fit for the purpose.

The dishonest council insisted the water was safe with its officials such as the Mayor, Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni, at one time facetiously claiming that they all drink the same water from the taps. Most residents shunned tap water for consumption and looked for alternatives, with the next best option being the boreholes. They thought this way they would avoid further recriminations with council officials.

But water from boreholes in high-density suburbs has also been condemned as unsafe for human consumption, as tests confirmed that some boreholes were contaminated with the Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria which causes water-borne diseases and other health complications.

The admission and apology (which we are not going to accept) by His Worship Mayor Manyenyeni throws shocking light on the sad and dangerous state of affairs in Harare.

What should residents do now being caught in this situation? Have we reached a stage where we are all going to fall sick and die?

Residents should be worried sick about this impending disaster with no solution in sight, especially during this summer period when water borne disease such as cholera and typhoid tend to kill people by the dozen.

In fact, 10 rainy seasons ago 4 000 people died of cholera. The council should have known and planned better. Opposition councillors have run our major cities since their unheralded entry in 2000. They have nothing better to show for it except whine about political interference.

In fact, Harare council is no longer fit for the job because failing to provide water to residents or providing a poor, dangerous and toxic excuse for water is the worst performance a local authority can deliver in the modern era.

Mr Manyenyeni and his council should have resigned rather than offer that lame apology — which residents will not accept. They have failed to run the local authority because outside this criminal failure to deliver potable water, the council is also failing to collect garbage, control activities such as vending and the chaotic transport system.

This council has been a sick joke — especially when we hear officials sitting in air conditioned offices and sipping bottled water pontificating about Harare being a “World Class City by 2025”.

What a farce!

Harare City Council will need a new set of hands, and needs them soon to arrest the rot that has beset the capital for the past two decades. The opposition MDC-T, which controls Harare and other urban centres, has failed the electorate and it is there for everyone to see just how they have run down and degraded the standards of a city that was once known for its cleanliness.

Now it is a shell of its former self. In light of this stinking scandal, Government through the Local Government ministry, must dismiss the incompetent and corrupt council and replace it with a commission that has to turn around the fortunes of the city and arrest the rot that has set in thanks to MDC-T.

Government must move in fast to save lives. Yes, there is need for a “command water” programme like yesterday.

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  • eliasha

    We blame all this on the deposed Minister and we now await on what plans the new Minister has in store for us as the council is highly politicized and any move for the better by the sitting Mayor and team was met with scorn and all sorts of things by Sukazi. By the way its not only water but the service delivery is technically dead and most residents hope the new Minister has this on his 100day urgent performance plan to ensure he gets things in urban centres right.

  • Emerald

    Herald, don’t waste your time blaming MDC-T on Harare City Council’s failures. Zimbabweans, yes that incudes non-Harareans, are well aware that it is ZANU-PF through its corrupt ministers which prevented the Council from running its affairs professionally and efficiently.


    Kikkkkkkkkkkkk cde Mayor u want us to drink water “with caution”!!!!!!?????? what does that mean?????

  • Tavengwa Jacob Sipapate

    Ko inga Mayor vakataura vakati without executive powers, havana zvavanokwanisa kuita, stop blaming the mayor and lobby for the government to give the mayor his executive powers, hatidi vanhu vanoita kunge vasingagaye nhai ka

  • Tavengwa Jacob Sipapate

    Ko asi vanhu hamuteerere kana Mayor vachitaura vachiti hapana zvavanokwanisa kuita kana vasina ma executive powers.

    Zvinobatsirei kubvisa Mayor asina ma executive powers tichiisa umwe Mayor asina ma executive powers? Ngatiitei tichifunga mbichana.

    Dai tabatana tachemera ku government kuti dzoserai ma executive powers kuna Mayor we Harare.

    Nekuti government yakabvisa ma Mayoral executive powers pakatanga kupinda MDC ku City of Harare

  • Moe_Scyslack2

    MDC councillors won’t do much unless the city is run by an elected and powerful mayor like everywhere else in the civilized world. Mayor with real powers to borrow and run this city. Kwete zvema Zanu ministers jumping in and ruining it for us. Does it matter which party is represented? We just want this great city to achieve its pontential

  • Moyo

    It is difficulty to understand the Herald. You do not learn from your mistakes. When Chombo said people should not pay their rates because he wanted vote. The Herald celebrated, they forget that, money is used for service delivery but the Zanupf government did not care, they wanted vote to the disadvantaged of service delivery. When Harare City want to appoint competent Town Clerks, the Government interfered for political reasons, including taking away motor vehicle licensing to ZINARA because Zanupf wanted to loot the money.
    What did Zinara do beside giving Harare City money to repair roads which is the same as the cost of Grace Mugabe’s ring. The Herald celebrated. STOP!!! being partisan look at faults. Who does not know Zimbabwe does not have foreign currency, Herald are you sure you don’t know that?
    All chemicals are bought using forex, where is it? The whole blame comes back to The Zanupf government. These are the things Mr Munangagwa should look at correcting in order for us to think he is changing. There are lot of things Mugabe destroyed while in power with his G40, one of them was to destroy councils because they were manged by MDC councillors fro political benefit not knowing that he was destroying ZIMBABWE not MDC.
    NOW SEE FOR yourself the fruits of that sabotage by someone ruling not knowing thathe is also destroying his legacy. If Harare City succeeds who will be praised outside and inside , who takes the praise it is the President of Zimbabwe. When Zimbabwe was the Bread basket Mugabe got the prize and praise now he destroyed that bread basket status he should get the Blame including Munangagwa because he was aprt and parcel of that system. No Excuses. APOLOGISE and correct your mistakes.

  • Maria Smith

    This is an open letter to the editor

    I do not like your rant because it is useless. Stop taking your breath away. You are not fit for purpose. How did we get here in the first place? What a load of rubbish. Are you surprised that things are like this, where have you been all along? You are bothered about Harare City and a few others? You need to look at the state of the country. How do you expect Harare to be better than the whole country. Harare is only a small part of the little troubled nation.

    This is a country on its buttocks now, having gone further down from its knees. Stop getting agitated. Zanu PF has taken us back 50 years, you know it or are hiding behind your little finger and you have not reported anything of that sort yet. Musoro wenyoka ndiwo unoda kurohwa.

    We all know you are a government mouthpiece. Have you reported about the missing $15 billion that could have paid for the water purifiers, the army, in particular the now retired cum President after the election that blocked people from telling Mugabe to go, hospitals gasping, the sick being turned away at hospitals due to inability to pay while Mugabe chartered a flight to the Far East for treatment, hundreds, if not thousands missing due to the regime’s brutality and many others far too many atrocities to mention. Shame on you. It is You who must step down and go to the village and never pick up pen and paper ever to write what is called news for you are not educated one bit and not the Mayor. You take us all for fools. You are being paid handsomely, haikona. Empty vessels make the loudest noise.

    We need proper journalism kwete just being a mouthpiece of the ruling party. I know you will censor my letter and not publish it because you neither hear nor speak evil.