Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Harare City leadership has failed to deliver on its targets in their first year in office in terms of providing essential services like water and sanitation, eradicating undesignated dumping sites and effective management of affairs at Town House, Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba has said.
In an interview yesterday, Clr Gomba said apart from pressing water issues, they were confronted with when they assumed duty at Town House last year, they had targeted to renew the city’s infrastructure, restore operational systems, improve revenue, embark on infrastructure development and recondition work ethics.
He said the council leaders failed on all these fronts.
“We are yet to be satisfied with the capacity of revenue collection by the current workforce, particularly those in the environmental health, markets, traffic and billing sectors,” said Clr Gomba.
“We will be satisfied only if these divisions are transparent enough to update and upgrade their systems, come up with clear collection models and have clear lists of where to collect and from whom.”
In terms of water provision, a major issue facing the city, Clr Gomba was evasive on progress they have made so far.
“Water supply, we are introducing the modular water treatment solutions to tap water from small water mass and from the dams we have as a complimentary purification process to increase that which we distribute to our residents,” he said.
Harare residents are facing acute water shortages that can be solely blamed on the council, with Government now chipping in through District Development Fund that is drilling boreholes in some parts of the city. It seems the council has run short of ideas on how to deal with the water woes despite numerous efforts from various stakeholders, including a $144 million loan from China to do rehabilitation works at Morton Jaffray Water Works, the main water supplier to the city.
The $144 million was mishandled, resulting in the deal collapsing before the water works were complete.
Harare has failed to eradicate dump sites and address sewerage bursts that have left the city being an eyesore, and exposing residents to health hazards, especially in high density suburbs like Highfield, Kuwadzana and Glen Norah.
The local authority also lost millions of potential revenue while it operated without an automated billing system.
Clr Gomba, in a recent interview, admitted to council’s failure to address the allocation of stands at wetlands.
He said on housing, they have continued to offer stands to pay schemes, but more importantly, they were now working with partners to provide housing to the residents.