Residents Forced To Hunt For Water As Govt Delays Approval Of Council Budget

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By Anna Chibamu

MANY Harare residents are spending the better part of their daily activities looking for water as the city council is failing to provide the precious liquid due to government’s failure to approve the capital city’s 2020 annual budget.

This was announced Tuesday by MDC Warren Park MP Shakespeare Hamauswa in Parliament where he explained that government’s failure to approve Harare City Council’s budget was seriously hampering the smooth delivery of service by MPs in urban areas as residents spend most of their time looking for water.

Local Government Minister July Moyo is supposed to approve the council’s budget before the start of the year.

However, rising on a point of privilege, Hamauswa complained that MPs’ presence in constituencies was now irrelevant because residents were now only focused on searching for water.

“I rise on a point of privilege; Members of Parliament are being affected by continued unavailability of water especially in urban areas like Harare,” said Hamauswa.

“This is affecting our effective representation to the people whom we serve. We are most of the time forced to run around to fetch water for residents in some extreme cases. I want to bring this to your attention Honourable Speaker Sir; the Minister of Local Government July Moyo has not yet approved the Harare City budget.

“This has affected the City of Harare’s ability to offer service delivery because the council is still using the 2018 budget when the rate was US$1 to 1 Bond note,” said Hamauswa.

The Speaker Jacob Mudenda agreed to the point of privilege, but ordered the MP to raise the issue this Wednesday when Cabinet ministers respond to questions by MPs.

“I sympathies with the Honourable member, so you can raise the issue with the minister tomorrow during question time,” Mudenda replied.

Hamauswa was not convinced and he objected to Mudenda’s suggestion.

“Last year we instructed the Minister of Water then who was responsible to issue a ministerial statement. Due to weather predictions made then, government knew about the challenges ahead. Until today, the statement has not even been presented to Parliament,” fumed the MP. 

However, Minister Moyo could not respond to Hamauswa’s demands.