MDC-A corruption bleeding town councils

Derick Tsimba

The corrupt tendencies of MDC-Alliance, (MDC-A) are at the heart of the challenges affecting towns and cities, which has adversely affected service delivery.

It has been a common phenomenon how the town council resources are being misappropriated in Harare, Bulawayo, Chitungwiza, Norton among other city councils.

Hence, when MDC-A claims that it would bring change, people should ask themselves, why it has failed to do so in the councils it controls across the nation.   If the MDC-A was serious about turning the nation into prosperity, it should have proved its mettle first by running smoothly urban councils it dominants.

In Harare alone, the failure by MDC-A to maintain and improve the road situation, water and sanitation, garbage refusal collections is in itself an indictment of its inability to run the country, in the unfortunate event it wins an election.

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has not been spared from the menace of corrupt official. It remains in the public domain how the Zimbabwe anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) descended on BCC and other local authorities after investigations on corrupt land allocation and sales were unearthed.

BCC was involved in the unprocedural allocation of stands to MDC-A councillors as well as senior council officials for a very long time. MDC-A council officials continue to be named countrywide on their involvement in land sales which benefit their cronies at the expense of residents.

Corruption in the MDC-A-led councils remains one factor that hinders the transformation of Zimbabwe’s towns and cities into world class status.  Corruption by MDC-A has seen the regression of cities development to that of the stone ages. In the day and age, people still drink water from unprotected water sources because the Councils are failing in their mandate to provide clean water to resident.

The Norton town council has been overwhelmed by its own expenditure to the extent of failing to pay for its water rates to Harare City Council. The council to date accrued a debt amounting to $177 million. In June, this year, the Norton council agreed to a weekly payment plan of $1 million to clear the debt. One wonders where the money was being diverted to which resulted in the whole of Norton having its water supply disconnected.

As for Chitungwiza MDC-A-led municipality, its failures resulted in Government signing a USD $ 1.8 million Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (ZimFund) grant with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to assist with its sewer system. It has been a sorry state in Chitungwiza, how residents would live metres away from flowing sewer, this has contributed to perennial outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and typhoid. 

On 15 June 2021, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon Professor Mthuli Ncube in a press statement said the grant, funded from ZimFund is aimed at addressing the Chitungwiza municipality’s perennial outfall and trunk sewer hotspots. 

In the upcoming elections in 2023, residents in affected towns and cities should take their time to vote wisely to solve the problems they are facing. Voting for genuine councillors who have their interests at heart will secure the provision of service delivery and development of towns, cities as well as the nation as a whole.