Councillor Stephen Dhliwayo accuses ZANU (PF) of stalling sewer expansion project

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Writes Christopher Mahove

Dzivaresekwa Ward 39 councilor, Stephen Dhliwayo, has accused ZANU (PF) activists of stalling a sewer expansion project which he is spearheading in the area to ease sewer challenges faced by residents in the area.

Dhliwayo said efforts to install new pipes at Dzivaresekwa 2 Home industries were stopped by ZANU (PF) activists who claimed they owned the area.

He said they wanted to install new pipes and divert the sewer from an existing manhole and direct it to a nearby upgraded trunk sewer pipe along the stream when they were stopped, adding all they wanted to do as council was to help residents who have been sitting on a health time bomb because of burst pipes.

“City of Harare water employees had to remove the excavator from the area after some ZANU (PF) political activists threatened to burn the machine and beat them up,” Dhliwayo said.

He said the City of Harare workers could not go ahead with the sewer upgrade, a development he said would leave residents living in flowing streams of sewer and fresh human waste, exposing them to waterborne diseases such as cholera.

“We can’t let political bickering cause the suffering of residents. Political differences should not affect the development of the area in any way because we get into politics to serve the very same people,” he said.

Dhliwayo said those who were claiming ownership of the area should be supporting the project as they were the ones to benefit from it.

He claimed most of the people who were against the project were not paying anything to the council.

One of the people who stopped the project, Union Muropawembwa, claimed the councilor intended to parcel out the land to opposition activists for residential purposes.

Muropawembwa said there were over 300 people in the home industry who paid $11 each to the council.

“We stopped the project because we know his plans. He wants to give the land to his supporters to build houses and we will not allow that to happen,” he said.

But Dhliwayo dismissed the claims as baseless, saying there was no way he could change the land use plan of a home industry into a residential.

“The home industry will not be removed, we cannot change the land use plan and these claims are baseless,” he said.

Dzivaresekwa District Officer, Shepherd Mawire, was not picking up his phone when contacted for comment.

The project is part of an ongoing scheme to address the sewage pipe bursts in the area, which has so far seen more than 300 metres of new sewer pipes installed in Dzivaresekwa 3.