Harare residents pressure group says City of Harare criminally liable for the spread of cholera

By Wallace Mawire

A Harare residents pressure group, the Harare Residents Trust (HRT) says that the City of Harare is criminally liable for the death of people in Harare since the beginning of the cholera outbreak which is reported to have killed at least 20 people by now.

The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) says that it has been to different communities interviewing the residents about the cholera outbreak that has befallen the residents in Glenview and Budiriro suburbs.

“ It has been noticed that residents have placed their reports for sewage but nothing was done as the sewage are all over the streets posing a danger to the community. Dozens of council workers have died due to absence of safety clothing and injection that protect them from tetanus and cholera. Based on our observations the City of Harare is bleeding from inside with its senior management conniving to destroy
the council from inside, thus they deliberately make costly decisions,” HRT said.

The trust added that the result is that thousands of ratepayers are at risk of contracting typhoid and cholera. They says that the situation is desperate and hopeless as no one is attending to resident`s sewage reports.

HRT says that according to informed sources in the City of Harare, all sewage reports that have been reported in Highfield, Glen Norah, Mufakose, Budiriro and Dzivarasekwa have not been attended to because of council workers unpronounced strike over deteriorating working conditions, lack of protective clothing and genuine fears of their own health, safety and security.

The trust adds that the council workers in Harare Water Department are entitled to two gumboots pairs, three work suits, a pair of gloves and mouth guards at the beginning of every year.

It is added that they must also be injected with an injection which protects the workers against tetanus and cholera but this has not happened leading to workers boycotting to go and attend sewage cases brought by ratepayers.

“This has been ongoing for the past three months. Senior Council management from City Health Department and Harare Water are now trying to cover up their criminal neglect of duty by giving the council workers part of their needs which must be availed at the beginning of the year,” HRT said.

It is further added that sources close to the authorities disclosed that only last Friday 7 September 2018, workers responsible for sewerage were given one pair of work suit each, covering 2017 which means for 2018 they are yet to be given.

“This shows that the council does not even care for its workers at all. There is flowing sewerage in front of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education offices in Old Highfield along 28th Street, and five people at 2717 Jerusalem, in Highfield are bedridden owing to the outbreak. Sewerage bursts across high density suburbs are threatening the safety and security of the residents, and the City of Harare has to be constantly communicating with the ratepayers on the situation on
the ground,” HRT said.

The Harare Residents Trust says that it has consistently rebuked the City of Harare for its neglect of duty by prioritizing luxury over essential service provision. Residents in high density suburbs have experienced blocked sewers which flow along their streets and roads.

It is reported that there are plus 207 reports made to the local district offices since mid- July 2018 which have been ignored and no one in council has bothered to explain that their workers have been on strike during the period over non provision of protective clothing and poor working conditions which led to the outbreak of the deadly cholera in Glen View and Budiriro.

According to the City Health Department , 16 people had died as at 10 September 2018 since the genesis of the outbreak of Cholera in Harare first reported on 6 September 2018. The HRT says that it urges the Harare Water and City Health
Departments to closely monitor the situation on the ground and to provide all the necessary equipment to the workers.

“Most importantly the HRT urges Harare Water Department to expedite the process of responding to residents reports on sewage bursts and water shortages,”.

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