- Opposition MDC urged to t take responsibility and end the worker's strike as a cholera outbreak could deal the country's healthcare facilities a devastating blow as resources are already stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Mutsa Makuvaza
RUFARO Stadium in Mbare, the venue of the historic transition from Rhodesia to sovereign rule in Zimbabwe, has turned into an eyesore and health hazard due to neglect as the MDC-run Harare City Council workers have downed tools.
Raw sewage could be seen flowing in the streets adjacent to Zimbabwe’s most popular spots venue because the responsible council workers are demanding personal protective equipment (PPE) and the payment of their December salaries and 2020 bonuses for them to go back to work.
Last week, Mbare residents complained of having to cope with blocked or burst sewers, a development they said was putting them at the risk of contracting water-borne diseases, including cholera and typhoid.
Sharing images of the area outside the giant stadium, journalist Chofamba Sithole blamed the decay of national infrastructure on Zanu-PF leadership.
“Zimbabwe marked the transition from Rhodesia to sovereign rule here, as the flag went up for the first time in 1980.
“In many ways this stadium is symbolic of the state of the country under Zanu-PF rule. A leadership that can’t take responsibility is delinquent!” Sithole said, but absolved the opposition from responsibility even though local authorities fall under local councils.
Others, however, told the Zimbabwe Voice that the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance must take responsibility and end the worker’s strike as a cholera outbreak could deal the country’s healthcare facilities a devastating blow as resources are already stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Smart cities, my foot!” said Emmanuel Mberi. He criticized the MDC led by Chamisa for promising a lot during elections and shifting blame when it fails to deliver on promises.
“Rufaro Stadium is a reflection of the rot inside MDC-run councils who get revenue from the facility,” he said.
Others blamed central Government for letting down the nation on infrastructure development, and called on sports Minister Kirsty Coventry to fix the mess.
“This goes deeper than Kirsty Coventry, I’m afraid,” Sithole reasoned. “It is the abiding condition of the nation after 40 years of incompetence, corruption and primitive accumulation by the ruling elite and their business allies.
“Much of our infrastructure was better at independence than today under Zanu-PF,” he said.
Cosmas Bungu, who leads the Harare Municipal Workers Union (HMWU), told Zimbabwe Voice that council workers were being exposed to COVID-19 infection as they were using physical contact in cases that simply required PPE.
Meanwhile, Harare City Council has said it has challenges collecting refuse after it temporarily closed Pomona dump-site last week owing to “logistical challenges”.
The reopening date has not been set, with council urging residents not to throw anything away.
“Our residents are encouraged to exercise good waste management practises during this period that includes but not limited to waste separation, reducing waste generation through reuse and recycling. The city will roll out a collection schedule in due course for resumption of collections,” said council. – Zimbabwe Voice 🔺