HomeLocal News‘Chombo budget slash could bring back Cholera’

‘Chombo budget slash could bring back Cholera’

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Local Government deputy Minister Sessel Zvidzai warned that minister Ignatius Chombo’s latest slash of the city budget by close to half could slide the city back to the 2008 cholera epidemic.

Although Zvidzai supported Chombo’s action, he warned that his boss was supposed to consult local authorities first on the matter before coming up with such a decision that might prove costly.

“There is no problem with the move but there is need to balance availability of potable water and affordability of the same. One has to be aware that we must not have a situation where one will fail to provide water altogether,” he said.

“The only way is to consult and make sure we understand council position.

“The acrimony indicates that the local relations are poisoned by lack of a culture of consultation between government and local authorities,” he said.

Zvidzai said while the move might sound attractive, if not proper, it had dire consequences.

He said : “While it might sound attractive on a populist platform, it can mean a repeat of the 2008 cholera pandemic. The revenue the local authority loses through the reductions directed should be found somewhere and it should be found in a new, property rating system.”

Residents yesterday said they did not read much into Chombo’s gesture as it was a populist move to garner cheap political goals.

Simbarashe Moyo, chairperson of the Combined Harare Residents Association said:

“He (Chombo) wants to appear as if he feels for the residents yet we know that it’s against the views made by the people. Chombo has imposed himself as mayor-general who is in charge of affairs of all the councils in the country,” he said.

“We know that he is fighting MDC-T councils to make them appear as if they are not doing anything.

“Why did he just slash the budget without clear reasons?”

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