HomeNewsDon’t you think we have had enough of this nonsense?

Don’t you think we have had enough of this nonsense?

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“I have received good news from my home that water has started running through our taps. The last time water came out from those taps was two years ago! Wow, whoever is responsible for this may 2015 be a wonderful year for you. I am buying people lunch today to celebrate this momentous occasion, how about a pool party? I’m still thinking of ideas to celebrate this wonderful day
. . . ,” read a post on Facebook, from a colleague from one of Zimbabwe’s daily newspapers.

Saturday Dialogue with Ropafadzo Mapimhidze

I can understand why this woman is delightfully joyous because water is life and it is no doubt a basic and fundamental need.
It is not a want.

But the majority of Harare residents have endured many years lacking water as council has failed to adequately supply this precious liquid.

Zimbabweans are people that do not openly complain about issues that affect them socially, politically and economically.

They suffer in silence whilst authorities play mind games of promises that are never fulfilled. For example, on Thursday this week, a Zanu PF politician, Godwills Masimirembwa, was heard on the news ranting that Zanu PF was being tarnished by housing co-operatives that take money and then fail to fulfil the promises.

I also know of some people, including my own sister who lost over $2 000 to some bogus housing co-operative housed along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue at the corner of Harare Street where directors diverted cash deducted from the Salary Service Bureau from government workers.

So many civil servants, including those from Kadoma and Chegutu, are affected and it took a long time for me to convince my sister to report the matter to the police fraud squad. The culprits have been arrested, but we are yet to see if the money these people took will be refunded to the duped beneficiaries.

It’s back to the water problem that I initially kicked off with.
There are people that I know who have toilets that have become ornaments that decorate their houses. These people have not known flushed water from Harare City Council since the houses were built over a decade ago.

This is especially so for houses with en-suite toilets and bathrooms where only one toilet all family members now use.

Visit homes in Mandara, Greendale, Letombo Park, Tynwald North, Borrowdale and many more where you will find water stored in buckets and drums for domestic use.

This crisis has had its own fair share of sad tales when toddlers have drowned in buckets filled with water. A mechanic in the Msasa area lost his two-year-old baby boy when he drowned in a bucket that had water to flush the toilet.

Some of these residents have put up water tanks and then buy water from bulk water sellers for $50 to $60 for 5 000 litres. The irony of it all is that some of this water is actually council water which they have reaped profits from.

For example, the 5 000 litres of water that I buy from these water haulers does not last me a month. This is despite the fact that I store water I would have bathed in, in buckets to flush the toilet. So how much is a family of four people spending on this precious liquid from water hauliers?

Isn’t that revenue which should benefit council to repair roads, waterworks and other infrastructure?

Who in their normal thinking mind would want to pay for a nonexistent service? Yes, Zimbabweans will pay because they don’t complain and hence the reason why authorities can come up with all sorts of demands which they know will not be resisted.

The situation is so grave that even when faced with life-threatening conditions, Zimbabweans will plod on as though all is well.

Between August and November, I visited Zambia and Namibia and didn’t I envy citizens of these two nations that have clean water gushing fast at high pressure from their taps? I would bathe twice a day especially in Namibia where the desert heat makes you really sweat.
Electricity is on all day long for seven days a week without much disruption. In Zimbabwe, residents get surprised when power goes uninterrupted for a week. Isn’t it amazing how we have normalised a sick situation?

The Harare water problem has been ongoing for years with residents being forced to pay for a service that is not existent.

But you will find residents going to Rowan Martin to pay their dues when in fact their taps dried a long time ago with a refuse collection service that is also unreliable. The council now advertises on radio urging residents to pay their dues, but for what service if I may ask?

So unpredictable is council service that at times I have had to carry my garbage to a skip bin in the city centre, where I once met some antagonistic street cleaner who told me that I was flouting city by-laws by bringing garbage to the city centre.

I asked her to interpret the by-law which prohibits residents from disposing rubbish in the skip bin, but she just mumbled on and on in anger repeating that I could get charged for doing that.

There are people in and around Harare who dispose their garbage in open spaces and yet there are people like myself that find it difficult to do so.

This is the reason why I bundle up my rubbish into the boot of my small car and take the refuse to a skip bin at either Speke Avenue Bus Terminus or the one at the Corner of First Street and George Silundika Avenue.

This is because I am fully conscious of the fact that city garbage is collected without fail around the central business district regularly as council tries to keep the former Sunshine City tidy.

Don’t you think we have had enough of this nonsense?

Feedback:rmapimhidze@newsday.co.zw

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