HARARE – Harare City Council Mayor, Jacob Mafume has implored the central government to rethink their polices on the requirements of urban council water.
He was speaking during the Ward 40 State of the Ward (SOWA) where he called on the government to revisit it’s policies on water particularly in the midst of the water challenges being faced by most urban councils in the country.
Cllr Mafume expressed deep frustration at the lack of planning and seriousness in addressing these challenges while also bemoaning the politicisation of the water crisis faced by the cities following the recent tweets by Permanent Secretary in the Information Ministry, Nick Mangwana who seemed to be throwing all the blame on the local authorities.
“Shortage of water and troublesome sewer knows no politburo status nor any political slogan and affiliation,” he said.
Mafume highlighted that the current challenges being faced were a result of failure to plan as a country more than 40 years ago where the infrastructure still being used was meant to cater for less people back then. He cited that the last dam for Harare was constructed before independence.
Another cause for concern highlighted by the Mayor was that rate payers were not paying their rates which meant the local authority was not able to get enough funds to provide good services, among them being to acquire the necessary chemicals to purify the water before supplying to residents.
Mafume also stressed that the budgetary systems where causing problems since Council had done it’s budget using the fictitious 1:1 rate and that supplementary budgets were taking forever to be approved by the government.
Mafume, however, promised to push for solutions to address the current situation.