Writes Elvis Dumba
Raffingora – Residents of Raffingora Township in Zvimba District are living in fear of waterborne diseases such as typhoid and cholera due to the raw sewer effluent which is now a common feature in this small farming community.
Residents of Raffingora petitioned the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland West Province, Hon Marian Chombo over the issue. In response, the Minister read a riot act on the ward’s absentee councillor and Zvimba Rural District Council.
Residents of Raffingora had complained that their Ward 16 councilor, Spencer Magaya had gone absent from the ward since his election and instead nominated his campaign coordinator as acting councillor.
The Minister toured Raffingora after summoning Zvimba Rural District Council executives where they came face to face with flowing raw sewer in the township. The raw sewer flowed into community boreholes.
Shupikai Mafusire, a resident of Raffingora, said they were now fearing for their health due to the sewer bursts.
During a brief, Zvimba Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer, Aenas Chidakwa, said his office was not aware of some of the challenges in the township such as the lack of adequate manpower.
“I am hearing some of the challenges for the first time here like the issue that we have gone for three months without employees working on the sewer section. If we had known, we could have made the necessary arrangements and we have since employed three guys who are now working on the sewer since last week. We have noticed that our engineer had replaced some of the sewer pipes but we have discovered that the replaced pipes were the same size as those being replaced, which didn’t make any change, ” he said.
Honourable Chombo told the Zvimba RDC management to pull up their socks and offer residents good service delivery as enunciated by President Mnangagwa.
“I am sure you are aware that His Excellency President Mnangagwa has directed local authorities to ensure good service delivery for residents. As Zvimba Council, you need to pull up your socks and ensure good service delivery. I want you to deal with the issue of the sewer as soon as possible and if you have any challenges, tell me as soon as possible so that I assist you to ensure the challenge is dealt with,” she said.
Honorable Chombo warned the ward councillor against leaving the ward and appointing a representative.
“As a councillor, you were voted by the people to represent them and you cannot afford to be away from your ward as you are the one who takes their concerns to relevant authorities,” she said.
Ward 16 Councillor, Spencer Magaya, said he had been busy with other commitments since he also doubles as the local authority chairperson and pledged to avail himself for his duties in the ward.
President Mnangagwa recently also read a riot act on local authorities over poor service delivery with some of the councils failing basic refuse collection whilst sewer bursts are now a common feature of most high-density areas.