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Restoration of Democratic Local Government
Hansard, Parliament of Zimbabwe
February 08, 2006
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I move the motion standing in my name: that this House, alarmed
by the collapse of infrastructure and services in our cities and
towns; further alarmed by the outbreak of cholera in our capital
city in December; dismayed by the removal of elected councils and
their replacement by appointed commissions which have manifestly
failed to improve the running of our cities; demands that the Minister
of Local Government and Urban Development immediately cease interfering
with elected councils and take immediate steps to restore democratic
My motion is on the collapse of our cities and towns and the resultant
difficulties which the residents of our cities and towns are currently
facing in Zimbabwe. I am quite sure that on both sides of the House
we are alarmed at how seriously our towns and cities have gone down,
particularly in the last eighteen months and over the last several
years there has been a trend.
I will just
recap some of the evidence of this collapse of both the infrastructure
and services. If you walk around Harare, Bulawayo and other towns,
the pavements, particularly in the central business area, they are
a danger. If you walk between here and First Street there are holes
in the pavements. If you do not watch where you are going you can
actually disappear in one of these holes. You can possibly break
your leg. The holes are very serious. I am quite sure that the City
of Harare has been sued by several pedestrians who have injured
themselves because of the poor state of our pavements.
Then we have
our streetlights, the streetlights either do not work or they are
broken. The poles have fallen down even in the roads, they are a
The drains are
blocked. We have sewerage bursts around the place particularly in
Chitungwiza but about the sewerage, I will come to it later on.
There has been a problem in Chitungwiza long before the MDC came
along. Raw sewage is pouring out of the pipes and it is a very serious
danger to the health of all residents. If one person becomes ill
with a communicable disease like cholera or something, it can affect
the whole city. It is a danger.
affect the quantity of water that the city has available. Water
bursts cause damages everywhere. I have had a burst water pipe just
outside my house for the last two years. I have reported it over
and over again to the Harare City Council. I even reported it to
the Commission when they appeared before our Portfolio Committee
and they assured me that that water burst would be resolved within
one week. I reported in October and we are now in February after
two years of flowing water.
falling down. There was a report of a bridge that had become a danger
in Glen Norah. Children cannot go to school across that bridge.
They have to go a long way round to get to school and that is a
are quite a great danger because if the traffic light is not working
or working one way you may have serious motor accidents. Indeed
the Traffic Safety Board in December called for legislation to force
the local authorities to keep the traffic lights working. That is
how serious the problem is.
We have potholes
which the motorists and drivers of the commuter omnibuses are faced
with. The potholes are sometimes repaired but the repairs do not
last. Potholes cause damage to your car and they also cause serious
accidents. Three weeks ago, there is a young man who is a student
at Harare International School whose family are Mozambican diplomats
in Zimbabwe who was driving along the Borrowdale road and hit a
pothole and had such a serious accident. His friend and passenger
was killed on the spot by hitting this pothole. He himself has been
in a coma for nearly three weeks now. That is what happens when
you do not maintain your infrastructure.
I am not even
going into the general dilapidation of the buildings belonging to
our cities and towns. In district offices things do not work properly,
the paint is falling off the buildings of the City Councils and
towns. The collapse of infrastructure is not only in Harare but
I come to the
services. There is lack of provision of services. We have all noticed
most the lack of refuse collection. I was driving along Fourth Street
yesterday, right there at the corner of the Catholic Cathedral there
is a huge pile of garbage, just by the Cathedral. It is not only
visible but it is a danger to the city. In my own constituency there
is rubbish all over. In Hatcliffe there is a road into the cooperative
where you have to make a huge detour around the huge pile of garbage.
Nobody comes to remove the garbage. The same thing happens near
the Old Mutual headquarters which is near where I live. A lorry
comes and simply dumps garbage. When I call the Harare City Council
they say they do not have transport. Meanwhile people are breaking
the city by-laws. We are in danger, we are going to have rats all
over. They carry fleas which can carry bubonic plaque. We will have
all those diseases if we are not careful.
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