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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  • cliff.

    this blame game should stop. This country is ours together. We need to work together as elected officials. councils must up their game. government must support councils with all its got not this nonsence .divided we fall

    • Cde DHUMBU

      Indeed

  • yowe

    This is poor politics. How many hundreds of thousands of deaths can we ascribe to Zanu Pf through poor health facilities, poor road infrastructure, poverty,corruption, political violence and even hunger. Kasukuwere should not make statements like these as they are very hypocritical. Kunge pane chavari kuita chine musoro. Zanu Pf has destroyed a generation of Zimbabweans

  • yowe

    No solution can be found as long as Zanu Pf continues on its war path aganist the citizens of this country

  • Rigayi Ikonomi

    nxa

  • Rigayi Ikonomi

    dai matipawo mabasa aya tinonyora nyaya dzine musoro kwete izvi

  • Mungandidii

    These ZANU PF people are so arrogant, how can the pot call the kettle black when it is even blacker. For your own information, the MDC is running these councils because ZPF was rejected. All the problems we are facing are as a result of the government messing up.

  • Mungandidii

    National problems are as a result of messing up by national leaders and its only proper that they are told and we will never make progress until they change or are removed, nothing personal.

  • justsaying

    can someone tell me,how many people drowned or were eaten by crocodiles trying to cross the Limpopo river

  • Pombi

    The minister should come clean..poor service delivery is due to meddling in local authorities administration for cheap political gains..Chombo sent all local authorities to the intensive care and the current minister is clueless and killing off what remains.In fact doing what ZANUPF knows best destroying the economy of any locality and the nation at large.

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    The Government itself is also failing to pay its workers just as a host of other institutions are also facing challenges. If we are to enter into a blame game then the buck falls on the ZANU PF Government which has failed to manage the economy. Blame also goes to Kasukuwere who blocked the councils from shedding its excess employees after the Supreme Court ruling. It was a golden opportunity for the councils to reduce their ridiculous wage bills and release funds for other uses.

  • Gamba ReManyika

    While you try to split hairs and pick needles in a haystack, what we (povo) know is that the “government’s” ineptitude has caused these deaths. What to call “government” is your homework Mr. Commissar!

  • Taurai Chimsoro

    Am sorry Mr Kasukuwere to say this to you concerning your comment. Your comments sounds like you r had lost your thinking capacity temporarily, all councillors receive money to carry out these activities from the government funds if you are not providing the funds where would they get the money. Last year’s budget u gave agricultural sector $1 million instead of $1,2 billion surely you are taking Zimbabweans for a ride.Anyway l will express my anger next year in ballot box ,case rested!

  • Truce

    When he tried to get involved did they not say stop interfering. They had twitter exchanges and Kasukuwere was told not to interfere. They are now blaming citizens again. In which part do they even take responsibility. Even just a fraction. MDC COUNCILS have not started to fail today they have done so for a decade. When Kasukuwere interferes they turn it to political reasons. When Gweru councillors where stealing money and involved in corrupt activities they made noise about Kasukuwere being involved. MDC have failed to demonstrate leadership only at this level and I will never trust them to run a country if failures are at this level. There is no blame game here it’s about responsibility and accountability please. What are the roles of the councils is the first question we should ask and then we look into whether they fulfilled these, that is where the accountability comes in. If there wasn’t enough money why where they receiving and paying each other 30 000 per month salaries. ACOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY REMAINS IN THE COUNCILS. NO RUNING AWAY FROM IT.

    • Jeffrey Kangara

      I suppose you also have 50 bedroomed mansion

  • frank

    this is pure blame game. the rot began with zn pf councils. Now znpf government is starving any support to council so that MDC is blamed. corruption is manufactured in znpf and sold to mdc.

    • Mwendamberi

      Obert Gutu has the audacity to blame residents for not paying our rates, nhasi zvaipa and the 92% unemployment rate is no longer relevant in this situation. With more than a million vendors ecking for a daily living from illegal vending where do you think they will get the bond notes to pay rates from? Those of us who have hitherto struggled to keep up with rates payments in the face of very poor or no service delivery ukangoita 1 or 2 months usina kubhadhara zvakunetsawo before you know it they are at your property to disconnect water and next month its summons with an extra $100 messenger of court fees. Asi we all know there are untouchables who owe the City thousands nothing ever happens to them. We are therefore subsiding these free-loaders with the hard earned money we sacrifice to pay for our rates and water from time to time and City fathers are never grateful for that dedicated effort no matter how small. Its just not motivating and so unfair saka unozongotiwo chauya chauya kusikufa ndekupi. All politicians are the same when it comes to looking down upon the suffering we are going through because of their ill-thought out strategies where politics takes precedence at the expence of the deprived and down trodden. and

  • zimbotry

    For almost 4 Decades ZanuPF has failed a whole country

  • Rasta!

    How many people has ZANU PF killed?

  • sindoooraaniket

    Lack of wisdom at its worst level.