Targeted sanctions did not cause cholera
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) would like to respond to incorrect and misleading statements made by Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa alleging that the 2008 Cholera outbreak was a result of sanctions.
We find these statements totally unacceptable, mischievous, ill-informed and absolutely irresponsible. Chris Mutsvagwa made this statement at a meeting convened by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in Harare last Thursday.
It is quite appalling to realize that such a learned person like Mutsvagwa fails to realize that the Cholera outbreak was a crisis of failed Governance by the then ruling party ZANU PF.
It is an open secret that local authorities who were hard hit by the Cholera pandemic e.g. Chegutu, Harare and Mutare operated with no elected leadership at that time and the illegal Commissions which were put in place by Minister of Local Government Rural and Urban development Dr Chombo were not responsive to the needs of the people.
We remain worried when we see our leaders failing to account for their actions, hiding behind a finger and shamelessly blaming their failed leadership on sanctions. It is such people who make organizations like CHRA exist because they fail to easily subscribe to the salient tenets of Good Governance which include public accountability and transparency.
It is a known fact that when the administration of sewer and water services were handed over to Zinwa, a failed parastatal, water delivery services in most local authorities became erratic. The Cabinet directive on the takeover of sewer and water management inspired by Minister Chombo to take over water delivery from local authorities did not only lead to the Cholera outbreak but also the affected revenue base of most local authorities.
Sanctions did not inspire or cause the dismissal of Engineer Elias Mudzuri or Mayor Misheck Kagurabadza in Mutare replacing them with incompetent and corrupt illegal Commissions who only managed to open cleavages for those they served to access public resources in abundance.
Sekesai Makwavarara did nothing to avert the crisis of service delivery that rocked the City of Harare except successfully converting house number 19 Nigel Lane in Highlands without following proper Council procedures into personal property.
We have not forgotten the reckless decision that was taken by Ms Makwavarara to buy expensive curtains for the Mayors mansion at a time when C.O.H was struggling to acquire water treatment chemicals.
We urge those that continuously blame the dilapidation of service delivery on sanctions to come down and interact with the communities we work with and get a true glimpse of what is happening and stop giving lifeless facts. CHRA remains committed to Good-Local Governance practiced on a non partisan basis.