BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
THE government has expressed concern over poor service delivery in all urban local authorities and has blamed the opposition-led MDC councils for the poor services, while also admitting failure to manage waste as the Local Government ministry.
This was said last Thursday during the Senate question-and-answer session where Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo was being grilled over littering in cities and failure to collect refuse, which is posing health risks.
Chombo said: “Equally, everybody is worried and very concerned about the state of affairs in urban areas. It is not only Harare, but I think all the urban local authorities.
“The state of affairs is very worrying. It is not only refuse collection issues, but also sewer bursts and so forth. If you go to Chitungwiza, you will notice that all the areas are affected.
“Central government is equally concerned and we have gone as far as engaging the said local authorities, especially Harare to register our displeasure in the quality of service delivery.”
Chombo added that Cabinet had taken steps to convert refuse into energy, which showed that it was concerned about the issue.
“We have also gone as far as engaging the said local authorities to see if we can assist because they said they were incapacitated as far as equipment is concerned.”
She said that Harare City Council received dump trucks and five others were yet to be delivered.
“With the performance appraisal that was introduced by the President, you can see that there is a push for everybody to deliver, the chief executive officers, mayors and so forth. They all signed performance contracts and they are supposed to deliver. With these contracts, I think you are going to see a marked difference. We have let you down and we cannot abrogate our responsibility to say it is the MDC-led councils that have done that.”
Chombo said the Local Government ministry and councils needed to deliver services to ratepayers.
Most local authorities are struggling to manage litter due to lack of plant and equipment.
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