Over 500 deaths blamed on MDC-T councils

Minister Kasukuwere

Minister Kasukuwere

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter—

More than 500 people died from water-borne diseases last year alone, a development Government has blamed on MDC-T-run local authorities for their failure to provide safe water and proper sanitation facilities.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the majority of MDC-T-run councils were engaged in corrupt activities instead of focusing on service delivery, such as providing clean water, repairing burst sewage pipes and refuse collection.

This came amid allegations that MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s eldest son, Edwin, was being investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission for involvement in a “dodgy” tender for the supply of water chemicals to the City of Harare running into millions of dollars.

Water-borne diseases, among them diarrhoea, typhoid, dysentery and cholera, are caused by drinking contaminated.

Statistics contained in the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s weekly report on Epidemic–Prone Diseases, Deaths and Public Health Events for the week ending December 25, 2016, reveal that water borne diseases are a major cause for concern.

According to the weekly report, since last year, 435 people died from common diarrhoea, 84 from dysentery, typhoid 9 and cholera claimed one person. The total number of people who have died from the water-borne diseases since last year is 529.

Although figures were not provided for the comparative 2015 period, health observers said the 2016 figures were worrisome, calling on relevant Government departments to act on respective local authorities.

“Total diarrhoea cases reported this week (week ending December 25, 2016) are 6 183 cases and 10 deaths,” reads the report.

“Of the reported cases, 2 838 (45.9 percent) and one death were from the under five years of age. The deaths were reported in Kwekwe district in Midlands province (3), Chipinge district in Manicaland province (1), Mpilo Central Hospital (2) and Harare Central Hospital (4).

“The provinces which reported the highest numbers of diarrhoea cases are Mashonaland East (1 015) and Manicaland (957). The cumulative figures for diarrhoea cases are 513 726 and 414 deaths.”

It is understood that the majority of casualties were in urban areas particularly in Harare where the MDC-T dominated council is failing to provide basic services.

Dysentery claimed 81 lives out of 41 890 cases that were reported in 2016, while typhoid had 2 225 suspected cases, of which 85 were confirmed and eight deaths were recorded.

Minister Kasukuwere said the major problem were MDC-T councillors who focused on satisfying their selfish needs instead of service delivery.

“Quite clearly, we have councillors who are self-centred, who think that they must get per diem than service delivery,” said Minister Kasukuwere.

“They have been keen on allocating themselves stands, getting the best piece of land at the expense of service delivery.”

Minister Kasukuwere has suspended several MDC-T councillors in various cities and towns on allegations of corruption, and at the same time, reversed some of the land deals that these councillors have been involved in.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu blamed residents for “not paying rates” and Minister Kasukuwere for “interfering” in the running of local authorities.

“Urban local authorities have got a very dwindling financial base because the majority of residents are not paying their rates and other supplementary charges,” said Mr Gutu.

“Coupled with this, the Minister of Local Government is always sabotaging all the good and sustainable workplans in the major cities. The national road authority, Zinara, is not remitting any meaningful amounts of money from the money that is collected from motor vehicle licences,” he said.

“For instance, the City of Harare was given a paltry amount of $1 million by Zinara in 2016 to repair and maintain roads in a situation where Zinara had collected more than $10 million for motor vehicle licenses in the same year.

“How then do you expect MDC-run councils to have money for refuse removal and water reticulation?”

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  • Hlahla Hamburamatope

    How pathetic when a corrupt selfish politician compaign with the lost lives.

  • haiwawo

    You can’t cure stupidity unfortunately. That is what he displays each time he opens his mouth.

  • Moe_Syzlack

    Can these Zanuoid SA start giving us statistics on how many Zimbos have died due their misgovernance and ineptitude? Where is the $15B?

  • Development Proponent

    I think we tend to fail when we politicise some of the challenges and point fingers at MDC or Zanu PF. Yes, it could be true that MDC or Zanu PF members may be involved but the same problem would still be facing us irrespective of the political party affiliation of the people. If we do this we do not focus on the problem and expend energy on politics. The MDC will also start focusing on Zanu (PF) policy failures instead of suggesting solutions. We need to grow up as a nation and seek national solutions for national problems for the benefit of all.

  • Gushungo WekuGP

    This a low blow by any standards, please stop this finger pointing in 2017!

  • P. Nyagura

    I agree. VaGu
    tu should have provided statistics for revenue collected through tentals and rates, not just yezinara if he was to be transparent and balanced. Otherwise he is just politicking. As well said this blame game is unfortunate. City fathers should be innovative in refuse collection by among others decentralising waste management and collection to q enable those vanokwanisa to deliver marara to dump sites free of charge. Iye zvino Harare yose inoshandisa Pomona. Ukaendesa household refuse yako you are required to pay for excess refuse. Yet they have no capacity to collect regularly. Ko just sorting marara even at point of collection zvako. Veduwee this is our country. If you visit Pomona unochema where they mix all manner of refuse, one wonders kuti what their plan for getting rid of this ever growing man made mound of glass metal plastic, etc . Cry my beloved country

  • Boss

    Cliff wataura! A whole minister talking blame, with not a single proposal to solve the problem! Cry my beloved Zim!!!

  • Takawira

    Not surprising service delivery is compromised as long as senior council management employees who owe their positions to Zanu-PF patronage, only follow the interfering dictates of Kasukuwere and his predecessor Chombo. With 90% unemployment, few residents, parastatals and government departments pay their council dues and rates on time and are permanently in arrears. Residents continue with non-payment in the hope for a repeat of Chombo’s Zanu-PF vote buying gimmick of another urban debt write-off for 2018 elections, which will once again destroy council budgets by removing hundreds of millions in potential revenues, rendering it impossible to finance safe water and sanitation facilities. The root causes of lack of employment and finance to provide adequate council services lie squarely at the feet of 36 years of incompetent Zanu-PF governance and corrupt misrule. Nobody is fooled as to where the real responsibility for failure lies, as Mugabe continues to enjoy his planned 6 week absence while shirking essential duties on Zimbabwean soil.

  • Tinovaziva

    As usual zero blamed on Zanu PF the squeaky clean party of people who are not murderers, who are not corrupt, who are not incompetent fools, who are not senile and old.

  • African Conservative

    Anything that goes wrong in the councils (especially MDC-T led councils) is blamed squarely on the mayors and councillors… Anything that goes wrong in the country at large is blamed squarely on Sanctions and Western Imperialists… According to your logic as government, can these MDC councils not also blame sanctions? Do sanctions only affect the national government? Or wait, have sanctions been used as a scapegoat for the longest time?? I think its the latter.. Mr Kasukuwere, before you point fingers, have a look at the track record of government…

  • hameno ikoko

    wen gvt fails its sanctions but wen council fails its MDC-T. excuse me are we leaving in the same country here