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Water crisis: Who is to blame?

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Harare continues to run dry as parties to the circus — who include Harare City Council, residents, the Local Government ministry and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority – endlessly trade accusations over the real cause of the crisis.

Local Government deputy minister Sesel Zvidzai yesterday said the ministry was extremely worried about the water crisis that has hit Harare and some parts of the country, but shifted the blame on Zanu PF’s failure to invest in the water sector.

But, Zanu PF blamed the MDC-T dominated council for failing to address the perennial challenge posing a serious health hazard.
Residents, however, put the blame squarely on the city council which they accused of failing them.

Zvidzai said councils were working harder under difficult circumstances to provide the much-needed resource.

“Over the years, the Zanu PF government ignored investment in the water sector in this country and the policy reversal that took away water delivery services from council to Zinwa was the last nail on the situation,” Zvidzai said.

“When the MDC-T came into office, Harare was a total desert and residents in many parts like Tafara and Mabvuku knew no (tapped) water at all. We are extremely worried as a ministry, but we have no solution. (But) the Kunzvi dam factor comes into play.”

City fathers last week urged Water Resources Development and Management minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo to act to avert the crisis, but were surprised with his silence. Sipepa Nkomo was not immediately available for comment.

A woman who claimed to be his wife said the MDC-T MP was not “too well” to attend to telephone calls. Combined Harare Residents’Association chairman Simbarashe Moyo said the blame-game was not helping matters.

“It seems everyone is blaming everyone. Instead of taking the blame, the city blames Zesa for failure to provide an uninterrupted line and for power cuts, but it’s not about Zesa. We should consider issues of leakages and obsolete equipment among other issues and I put the blame squarely on the City of Harare. We don’t drink the blame-game. It’s just incompetence on the part of the City of Harare.”

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