IN an article https://www.herald.co.zw/councils-shoulder-blame-for-poor-service-delivery/ on November 15, 2019, Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe president and Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe was quoted as saying: “Poor service delivery in most urban areas is largely due to corruption and mismanagement by both councillors and management.”
Three years on, there is no garbage collection, no roads in Harare’s new city suburbs, no road markings, most of the traffic sign posts have disappeared, traffic lights are not working, water is not flowing from the taps and raw sewage is now a common sight.
This is not only in Harare, but most residential areas in the country.
Who is to blame for the infrastructure dilapidation in and around the capital city?
It is time residents took the bull by the horns and demand service delivery from those mandated to do such.
Our city fathers have developed a tendency of blaming residents for all of Harare’s challenges.
They are placing too much emphasis on personal responsibility and pursuing policies that “nudge” their residents to continue paying rates.
Residents have a huge responsibility of demanding accountability and transparency from the city fathers.
The capital’s residents should press for an immediate audit and answers from the Harare City Council over all the local authority’s expenditure and operations.
There has been reports of corruption and allegations of gross misconduct, with no one reporting the state of the city’s affairs to the residents.
Decaying and insufficient infrastructure has been a major constraint to the city’s growth, hence the prevailing poverty.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe states that municipalities and local authorities must ensure that all citizens are provided with services to satisfy their basic needs.
Municipalities and local authorities must provide all basic services required by residents. The most important services are:
- Water supply
- Sewage collection and disposal
- Refuse removal
- Electricity and gas supply
- Municipal health services
- Municipal roads and storm water drainage
- Street lighting
- Municipal parks and recreation
- Fire rescue services
Access to quality services, such as education, healthcare, transportation and justice is essential to connect people and businesses with opportunities to achieve higher-paid jobs, better living standards and longer and more fulfilling lives.
Harare is the capital, it is naturally expected to lead the way in terms of showing other cities and towns how to develop into a modern city.
It is common knowledge that the capital has embarked on an ambitious vision to attain world-class city status by 2025, but the situation on the ground shows we are far from achieving that.
If residents do not demand accountability and transparency now, 2025 will prove to be a pipe dream.
Harare will not have any service delivery, yet residents will always be required to pay rates.
Residents, wake up and take charge in demanding the services that you are paying for.
Come together and stop the decay that has taken root in the city.
Engineer Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi