The Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trusts (ZNOART) has written a letter to Senator Oliver Chidau, the Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province outlining its mandate and the challenges facing residents, particularly in Harare and Bulawayo.
Below, Spiked Online Media reproduces the ZNOART letter to Minister Chidau:
Hon O Chidhau
Minister of State, Harare Province
Date :02 July 2020
RE: Introduction of ZNOART and Clarification of issues affecting residents
Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trusts ZNOART is an Apex body representing all associations and residents and is registered under the laws of Zimbabwe. We are advocates for the concerns of residents.
We seek to find redress of matters which are affecting residents in our country with Harare and Bulawayo as our focal areas of concern as these are the capital and the second-largest cities respectively. We are inundated with a number of issues from residents that are affecting them which we believe you as the Honourable Minister you could assist us in meeting the dictates of our mandate from residents as your ministry works directly with the Harare City Council and all other urban and rural councils around Harare
As a lobbying organization of largely urban residents our first issue is on the lack of reliable, tapped clean, safe and portable water , sewage reticulation , roads ,infrustructure especially in Harare and Bulawayo. This has been essential to most suburbs that are being affected with water and other basic amnities shortages.
The council has not be supplying water in Harare suburbs citing lack of adequate funding and not having enough resources such as chemicals which they say they have not had enough foreign currency to acquire the chemicals, yet the Chinese bank US$144m loan equipment to improve water reticulation systems is lying idle in Harare. Given the outbreak of typhoid and diarrhoea in Bulawayo and subsequent death of 12 residents and illness of 1 500 in Luveve ( https://www.sundaynews.co.zw/typhoid-outbreak-in-bulawayo/) and as reported https://www.chronicle.co.zw/luveve-deaths-caused-by-water-shedding-pipes/) ZNOART is raises a red flag of unreliable supply of tapped water around the capital city suburbs as the year approaches and as the hotter seasons approach which will see the dams dry up.
ZNOART would want to know If and how your Ministry has engaged the council on any contingency plan to make sure that in the long run there will be adequate water in the urban areas and that typhoid won’t spread to the rest of the urban cities with the possibility of killing at least 12 residents in each town and city.
Another issue that has also been for the residents is that of recreational areas. Recreational areas have been ignored as evidenced by the rapid nasty phase of abandonment and vandalism of parks in the capital. These parks were located all over the city and every suburb low and high density had safe open spaces where parents could take their children to play or picnic on a weekend. However most parks in the city have fallen into disrepair or disappeared altogether in recent years leaving children with nowhere to play outside school playgrounds. https://www.chronicle.co.zw/its-high-time-council-restores-parks/) One extreme case is the illegal parceling out of stands in Mount Pleasant Golf Course and Sherwood Golf course inm
Mabelreighn among other recreational places targeted http://harare.opencouncil.co.zw/2020/06/28/stands-approved-on-mt-pleasant-gol-course/
Corruption in councils is affecting service delivery, with reports of corruption in Gokwe, Marondera, Harare, Epworth, Mutare or basically across almost all urban councils. Most council officials have taken all the space and wetlands within the Harare suburbs because they would have access to the map from the surveyor. This will make them allocate themselves stands in places or even have shop places and car sales since they will be directly linked to the councilors who make resolutions (https://zimmorningpost.com/land-scandal-barons-councillors-in-hcc-quacking-in-their-shoes/amp/?_twitter_impression=true)
Reports of corruption among almost all urban councils are many to mention with the extreme allegations of Harare City Council buying 24 motorbikes at USD 18,000 (http://harare.opencouncil.co.zw/2020/06/29/mayor-gomba-dismisses-24m-motorbike-saga/
Lack of adequate clean vending stalls within the suburbs has been noted with great concern. We have noted that you have created the Chishawasha in Mbare which you are going to put vendors as a measure to cater for those that were destroyed in Mbare. As ZNOART we suggest that through your help and council we create some vending stalls in the areas which are regularized with the councils within the areas this will help residents to acquire cheap commodities and also help in improving council revenue. What is going to happen to the other suburbs were vendors were earning a leaving through the vending stalls, and there are complains of partisan offers of vending stalls?
In the suburbs it has been quite a long time ago since we have seen road maintenance. It is also important for the council to come up with a strategy of refurbishment of the roads. Some councils have just hipped sands this has been for a while but no action has been taken to finish the job in the suburbs.
As ZNOART we would also want to talk about food security in the capital city. Food security can be achieved through urban agriculture in the suburbs. This urban agriculture can be done on state land with technological advancement such as green-houses which does not take much space. This is important in the urban suburbs as this will reduce transport cost and the residents will get the produce locally thus being affordable.
Also the issue of parking fees which are being increased willy nilly ,we wonder if this is a ploy to punish residents who drives from and to work . We also wonder were the proceeds are going because the infrastructure keeps on delapidating
Last but not least. We bemoan the constricted communication or lack of it when itcomesto the implementation or reaction to the concernsof the residents such as those listed above. ZNOART is well aware of more issues around Zimbabwe and seekto be engaged in the planning and decisions which ultimately affect residents