Reason Razao and Rejoice Makurira —
Residents have blamed council for the resurgence of typhoid in Harare, saying failure by the municipality to offer basic services like garbage collection and clean water provided a conducive environment for water borne diseases.
One person died in Mbare on Christmas Day from typhoid, while 30 other patients are admitted at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospitals.
Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba said service delivery had completely collapsed.
“Typhoid outbreaks in Harare are symptoms of a collapsing service delivery system,” he said.
“The policy making structures and implementation structures of the City of Harare have become totally disconnected from the ratepayers and from each other that no oversight is available to exert pressure on the other.”
Mr Shumba said refuse collection was erratic across Harare and sewerage blockages were the order of the day in high density areas.
“The reality of the situation is that council lacks the seriousness expected of a city striving for a world class city status by 2025 and there is poor resources allocation to prioritise health delivery and environmental conservation,” he said.
Mr Shumba accused the city council of failing to provide clean potable water. “On the other hand, the City Health Department is fighting disease outbreaks, yet at the same time the Harare Water Department is out in the communities disconnecting water to impoverished residents,” he said.
“Most councillors are figureheads, who are only serving the interests of the senior management in return for other monetary favours which accrue to them for overlooking management shortcomings.”
Mr Shumba said revenue collection was at its lowest.
“Revenue collection is at its lowest because the City of Harare has no legitimacy or moral fibre to demand payments from ratepayers when it is common cause that it is a haven for extravagance among senior councillors and senior council management.”
The Combined Harare Residents Trust director Mr Simba Moyo attributed the recent typhoid outbreak to failure by council to provide services.
“City council is failing to do their job properly,” he said.
“Raw sewage is flowing in places where there is no running water and council is failing to fix this problem as soon as it occurs.”
Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme declined to comment over the issues raised by the residents.