Norton Constituency MP Edward Musumbu
Overview of the constituency
The constituency covers 16 wards and stretches from Norton, Hunyani Bridge up to Selous and Halfway.
A tour of the constituency showed almost every house in areas such as Johannesburg, Maridale and Mashlands had a dug in well as a water source.
Some wells were protected with cement slabs while others were not. Raw sewer could also be seen flowing near peoples yards.
Although some parts of Norton like Katanga, have running water, Johannesburg, Maridale and Mashlands have always experienced serious water problems as taps have been dry for several years.
The constituents could not identify projects specifically done by their MP since donor aid agencies like Unicef had also come in to help alleviate water problems.
What people said about their MP
There were mixed feelings about the MP from constituents.
Most of them knew the MP since his house was burnt during the 2008 Parliamentary election campaign period.
Others said he was not so visible and the Zanu PF shadow MP for the area, Christopher Mutsvangwa, was seriously campaigning for the Norton seat.
Peter Nesara Johannesburg suburb resident
This area has had serious water problems since 1997.
There is no sewer reticulation in the area and people in Johannesburg have to resort to use of Blair toilets.
Every household has dug its own well because there is no water. The whole of Norton has two tanks that supply water and these were installed during the time of the Rhodesian government of Ian Smith.
Our problems are that the wells are built about 15 to 20 metres from the Blair toilets and this is dangerous if it rains because sewerage water from the toilets can contaminate water in the wells.
The water pipes at Norton are rotten and rusty and what surprises us is that even without getting council water we are made to pay $10 fixed charges for water.
These are problems which happened since 1997 when the MDC-T was not yet formed, but we would like the MP to help us solve these water problems.
I met the MP during a gathering last year at Katanga Utano Satellite Clinic where nappies, blankets and other wares for the disabled were donated.
The organisation that made the donations came through the MP.
Youths residing at Maridale
The water situation is so dire that everyone uses wells dug about 20 metres deep. There is no sewerage system.
Unicef is the one that has been visible helping people with soap and pills for water purification.
The roads are dusty and full of potholes.
The MP for the area should help us set projects such as chicken runs.
We can start with 100 chickens then it becomes a revolving project. As youths we would also like help from the MP to have a soccer tournament.
There is a soccer ground, but the goal posts are broken and we would like help to get them fixed.
As unemployed youths, we do brick moulding, but non availability of water is affecting our project.
Power cuts are also affecting our welding projects.
Group of women at a borehole (Maridale)
The water situation is so dire to the extent most women have to do their laundry near the borehole so that they dont have to walk to and fro carrying water buckets.
We women are the ones who look after the sick and without water, it is very difficult to ensure there is cleanliness at home all the time.
Electricity is a problem and we get supplies at 10pm almost every day, yet we get bills as much as $70 to $100 per month.
We expect our MP to help us alleviate some of these problems.
Security officer at borehole area
The water problem is serious that I have seen women coming at around midnight looking for water.
Some of the boreholes have broken down and it is sad that these women have to walk long distances to get the water.
Sometimes there are very long queues at these boreholes and it is a sorry sight. Since the sewerage systems are not working, people have to use the bucket system to flush their toilets.
There are no shops at Marindale and we would like the MP to help us attract investors to come and set up shops because residents have to walk to Katanga to buy small things.
Ruzvidzo Mufemeri Shopowner at Katanga Durawall Home Industry
There is no water and electricity at Durawall Home Industries, yet rentals are very high.
We pay between $150 and $250 per month.
This place was destroyed during Operation Murambatsvina and when council put up new structures, they said it was specifically for manufacturing home industries, but now we find even grocery retail shops are also operating.
The MP managed to put roofs at market stalls for traders and I also know that he helped the people at Porta Farm during their time of need.
Response from the MP
I installed a market at Katanga ward nine measuring 10×28 metres which caters for 104 people.
I also installed three boreholes at ward 13 rural, ward 14 and ward 15 rural.
They are all operational and I am in the process of putting up a toilet at the market. I donated medicines and blankets to hospitals.
Right now we have a donor who is trying to help us connect water for the whole of Norton.
The project will see the mounting of a water reticulation plant. We are still awaiting approval of the project by the Local Government, Urban and Rural Development minister Ignatius Chombo.
I also built market stalls and handed them over to the local authority and it is now up to them to allocate the stands.
The problem I am facing is that there are some ambitious Zanu PF people trying to wrestle for my seat and they pretend to be concerned of the plight of the people at Norton.