Water crisis: Humanitarian situation unfolding

Source: Water crisis: Humanitarian situation unfolding | The Herald July 13, 2019 A child fetches water from an unprotected source in Glen Norah, Harare, yesterday. Local authorities have failed to supply water citing lack of chemicals, drought and low revenue collection from ratepayers Herald Reporters Residents, consumer and human rights organisations have accused local authorities […]

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Source: Water crisis: Humanitarian situation unfolding | The Herald July 13, 2019

Water crisis: Humanitarian situation unfolding
A child fetches water from an unprotected source in Glen Norah, Harare, yesterday. Local authorities have failed to supply water citing lack of chemicals, drought and low revenue collection from ratepayers

Herald Reporters
Residents, consumer and human rights organisations have accused local authorities of violating the Constitution by failing to supply residents with water, a basic human right.

They felt it was important that local authorities consider the lives of people first and not only react when disease outbreaks and deaths occur.

There is pressure to declare the situation a state of disaster to arrest possible dangers in light of shortages that have been exacerbated by this year’s drought.

Ironically, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has indicated that despite dwindling resources, some areas have up to 30 months’ supply of water from their main sources.

This has exposed local authorities’ failure to deliver one of their core mandates, leading to worries about violating human rights.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) spokesperson Kumbirai Mafunda said failure to provide water was a violation of the right guaranteed by Section 77 of the Constitution.

“Local authorities must bear in mind that the shortage of water is likely to lead to poor sanitation facilities and result in the outbreak of some water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid, which are medieval diseases.

“Local and central Government must always cater for the poor and indigent in terms of provision of clean and potable water as required by the Constitution.

“We urge local and central Government to take measures to achieve the progressive realisation of this fundamental right to water.

“As ZLHR, we will hold local and central Government accountable for any consequences arising from failure to provide water to residents,” he said.

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (ccz) executive director Ms Rosemary Siyachitema said water was a human right and it was important that consumers have access to clean water.

She expressed concern that residents were continuing to pay for water that was not available.

“This is a crisis. We once experienced cholera outbreaks due to the unavailability of water. Water should be a priority area. People in urban areas should have access to clean water. It is disturbing that authorities start to act after disease outbreaks when the situation could have been avoided. We do not react when people are getting water from unprotected sources.

“Unclean water puts pressure on health systems,” she said.

Harare Residents Trust director, Mr Precious Shumba said according to Section 77 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, every citizen had a right to food and water.

“Water constitutes life. When a local authority has a constitutional mandate to provide a service, the State has equal obligating to enable local authorities to discharge its duties and mandate.

“Government through the Ministry of Local Government National Housing and Public Works should provide fundamental financial and material resources to allow local authorities to carry out their mandate,” he said.

Mr Shumba said local authorities, particularly City of Harare, should prioritise the issue of water supply to residents.

“Water funds must be used for water instead of being channeled elsewhere. We feel the City of Harare has excluded major stakeholders in an inclusive discussion on the state of affairs so they come up with solutions. There must be inclusivity.

“We have qualified people at the council and this is not reflecting. The experts within the council should reflect there is technical expertise, accountability, and capacity,” he said.

He expressed concern that authorities were talking about Kunzvi Dam but there were no short term alternatives.

Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association president Mr Cornelius Selipiwe said the situation in Gweru was complicated as the council informed them they had run out of water.

“We fear disease outbreaks and will write a letter to the health department as people have started digging wells. This may lead to diarrhoea outbreaks. It is just a matter of time as some of the wells are unprotected,” he said.

Kadoma Residents Association president Mr Wikirosi Mutizira said the council was just incapacitated to provide water and residents would soon stage a peaceful demonstration.

“Councillors and management have no people at heart they are splashing money on laptops and luxurious cars at the expense of service delivery.

“We gave them a chance but nothing is materialising, there are just attending workshops one after another they are simply sabotaging the new Government,” he said.

Chitungwiza Residents Trust director Ms Alice Kuvheya said the municipality was supposed to inform the public on how they have been using funds.

“At the moment the current water situation has seriously worsened since there is no water. Corrupt activities should be investigated and offenders brought to book.

“We also need an update on the Muda Dam projects,” she said.

Community Water Alliance director Mr Hardlife Mudzingwa said the situation was a national disaster considering that it was putting lives of people on risk of deadly diseases.

He said the national water crisis was a result of economic hardships, pollution, lack of trust in local authorities and drought.

“We should have a framework that ensures the council recoup the costs. Harare is also offloading raw sewer into Marimba River that feeds into Lake Chivero and this has polluted the major source of water.

“Transparency and accountability in the revenue management is also another challenge. Instead of residents getting explanations they get excuse from authorities and they lose confidence in the institution. This has affected revenue collection.

“There should be fiscal commitment into water projects such as the Muda Dam in Seke and Kunzvi Dam. Kunzvi Dam should have been constructed as early as 1992. We should invest on water infrastructure,” he said.

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Preparations for health indaba at advanced stage

Source: Preparations for health indaba at advanced stage | The Herald July 13, 2019 Dr Moyo Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter PREPARATIONS for the 23rd Association of Medical Councils of Africa (AMCOA) annual conference set for next week in Victoria Falls are at an advanced stage, with 170 delegates from all over the continent confirming their […]

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Source: Preparations for health indaba at advanced stage | The Herald July 13, 2019

Preparations for health indaba at advanced stage
Dr Moyo

Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
PREPARATIONS for the 23rd Association of Medical Councils of Africa (AMCOA) annual conference set for next week in Victoria Falls are at an advanced stage, with 170 delegates from all over the continent confirming their attendance, Health Professions Authority chief executive officer Mr Shepherd Humure has said.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo will be the guest of honour at the conference, which will be co-hosted by the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe and Health Professions Authority of Zimbabwe, and will run from July 17-21.

The conference will run under the theme: “Role of the regulator in the delivery of the universal health coverage.”

The theme of the conference resonates well with the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s vision of providing health at primary level and establishing a National Health Insurance Scheme.

Mr Humure said preparations for the conference were now at an advanced stage. “We can safely say we are 100 percent done with the preparations,” he said.

“We are now waiting for the conference to kick-start. So far we have 170 delegates who have confirmed attendance.

“Apart from local delegates, we also have (delegates from) South Africa, United States of America, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Namibia, Mauritius, Malawi, Lesotho and Ghana among other countries.”

Top of the agenda for the conference will be discussions on the formulation of policies by health profession regulators to ensure that universal health coverage is achieved in Africa.

Mr Humure said the conference was an opportunity to foster best practices by health professionals and ethical practices, as well as harmonisation of standards for medical education and training.

He said the primary purpose of AMCOA was to support regulatory authorities in Africa in the protection of the public interest by promoting high standards of medical education, registration and regulation and facilitating the ongoing exchange of information among healthy regulatory authorities.

Mr Humure said the role of the regulator in universal health coverage was to balance healthcare “supply and demand”.

“Supply side involves human resources for health, health facilities, commodities and joint health inspections with standardised checklist,” he said.

“Demand side involves reinforcement of quality of care and patient safety, grant access to healthcare financing, increased communities demand, etc.

“Zimbabwe will benefit in the exchange of ideas on these issues.”
Mr Humure urged African governments to be creative and innovative to stop the importation of medical equipment.

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Harare to probe illegal land sales

Source: Harare to probe illegal land sales | Herald (Africa) Yeukai Karengezeka and Bothwell Petro Harare City Council has appointed a committee to investigate illegal land sales, amid reports of chaotic allocation of infill stands that has seen houses being built on top of water pipes, while others were built less than two metres away […]

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Source: Harare to probe illegal land sales | Herald (Africa)

Yeukai Karengezeka and Bothwell Petro
Harare City Council has appointed a committee to investigate illegal land sales, amid reports of chaotic allocation of infill stands that has seen houses being built on top of water pipes, while others were built less than two metres away from busy roads.

Some structures are being constructed on wetlands. Double allocation is also rife, with endless disputes flooding the civil courts.

Some residents are at each other’s throats over land which was separately allocated to them by the same local authority.

Most open grounds that served as breathing spaces no longer exist in most suburbs, as they have been taken up by illegal housing.

Harare Town Clerk Engineer Hoseah Chisango said he had already set up a team of investigators to establish the culprits behind the illegal allocation of the stands.

He said if anyone was caught on the wrong side of the law, the cases will be referred to the law enforcement agents for criminal investigations.

“We have set up a special committee to do a case-by-case investigation of land sales that are suspicious to us,” said Eng Chisango. “The guys are already on the ground and if criminal acts are detected, police or the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission will be called in.

“Those who do not have papers for the property will have the illegal structures demolished to restore order.”

An investigation by The Herald has established that a number of infill stands allocated to people in Dzivarasekwa 4 near a cemetery have encroached onto the roads, making the area inaccessible.

Residents cannot even drive because there is no longer space for the road.

At least 20 houses are affected by the chaotic allocation of stands in the area.

Along Chiremba Road in Hillside, a house is under construction less than two metres away from the road and it has become the talk of the suburb, with people questioning its legality.

Investigations by The Herald have established that the house belongs to an employee of Harare City Council and the stand was not meant for construction of a house.

The structure, which is just a stone’s throw from the Harare-Mutare rail line is too close to the busy road and residents are wondering if it had the blessing of the council.

House number 2685 36th Crescent in Warren Park 1 was built on top of council’s main water supply lines.

The pipes, from Morton Jaffray Waterworks, are between the main house and the cottage on the residential stand in question, exposing the families to danger in case of pipe bursts.

A number of other houses are also affected by the same problem in Warren Park 1, amid reports that construction on the same piece of land was condemned in 2015.

Surprisingly, construction on the prohibited land resumed early this year.

In Kuwadzana 7, along the Harare-Bulawayo Highway, several infill stands have mushroomed in a swampy area opposite Kuwadzana Extension that is too close to the road, electricity pylons and a tributary of Marimba River.

Water pipes pass through the Kuwadzana stands.

Cranborne residents are also up in arms with council after it emerged that an open space, which used to have swings and other recreational equipment, is now a residential area.

Construction is underway, with a church structure and several houses already completed.

The residents have lodged complaints with the council and the case is still to be resolved.

At Hillside Park, a raging land dispute pitting former Cabinet minister Petronella Kagonye and local residents has exposed the rot in Harare City Council’s land allocation system, amid reports that the local authority decided to partner residents in constructing a recreational park on the land it had previously allocated to the politician.

Kagonye says she was allocated a one-hectare piece of land at Hillside Park wetland last year by Harare City Council and she holds a lease agreement in respect of the stand.

Her attempts to plant a lawn and flowers on the piece of land with a view to establishing  a wedding venue hit a brick wall after residents, together with council, challenged the development at the High Court.

An interim High Court order was issued stopping the work, but the lease remained valid. The court ruled that the stand was on a wetland.

A few months down the line, council partnered the residents to clear the land for the purposes of setting up a recreational park.

The decision has sparked debate, with observers arguing that a recreational park and a wedding venue were identical projects, hence council should have honoured Kagonye’s lease agreement.

Kagonye only learned about  the recreational park last Friday before rushing to stop work on the disputed stand.

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Adopt hybrid varieties, farmers urged

Source: Adopt hybrid varieties, farmers urged | The Herald July 13, 2019 Columbus Mabika Herald Reporter Farmers can benefit and attain sustainable agriculture if they use improved hybrid seed technologies to alleviate the impact of the brutal wave of climate change. This was said by Syngenta Zimbabwe sales and support manager Mr Moses Kudanga in […]

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Source: Adopt hybrid varieties, farmers urged | The Herald July 13, 2019

Adopt hybrid varieties, farmers urged

Columbus Mabika Herald Reporter
Farmers can benefit and attain sustainable agriculture if they use improved hybrid seed technologies to alleviate the impact of the brutal wave of climate change.

This was said by Syngenta Zimbabwe sales and support manager Mr Moses Kudanga in an interview on Thursday.

Mr Kudanga said farmers should get lessons from the 2018/2019 season which was characterised by late rains across the country to invest in short season and drought tolerant maize varieties, as well as small grains.

“Farmers are being encouraged to invest in small grains and adoption of hybrid drought tolerant seeds as we move to counter the effects of climate change,” he said.

Mr Kudanga said adoption of these varieties will expose farmers to increased yields.
He said previously, most farmers had a negative attitude towards hybrid seed, saying it was expensive, while overlooking the benefits of faster growth and higher yields.

Mr Kudanga said the company will continue to train farmers throughout the country on best farming practices.

He said his firm was looking at becoming a key player in the provision of high quality seeds both locally and internationally.

On challenges, Mr Kudanga said farmers were being exposed to fake seeds by bogus seed dealers, making it difficult to attain high yields.

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Prison farms lying idle

Source: Prison farms lying idle | The Herald July 13, 2019 Major-General Zimondi (Rtd) Daniel Nemukuyu Investigations and Special Reports Editor MISUSE of farming inputs by some criminal elements, insufficient seed and lack of proper machinery have rendered most prison farms idle with little production that is insufficient to feed the ballooning prison population, The […]

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Source: Prison farms lying idle | The Herald July 13, 2019

Prison farms lying idle
Major-General Zimondi (Rtd)

Daniel Nemukuyu Investigations and Special Reports Editor
MISUSE of farming inputs by some criminal elements, insufficient seed and lack of proper machinery have rendered most prison farms idle with little production that is insufficient to feed the ballooning prison population, The Herald can reveal.

A number of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) staffers have over the years been arrested and prosecuted for diverting farming inputs either to their farms or to the parallel market.

The country’s prisons have a carrying capacity of 17 000 inmates but, currently, close to 20 000 are in languishing jail.

ZPCS, which has failed to sustain itself, now relies on Treasury funding to feed the inmates.

Ideally, ZPCS with all the cheap labour, land and farming expertise is expected to produce enough food for inmates all year round plus surplus for sale, but the production has been extremely poor over the years.

Prisoners are gobbling almost close to $2,5 million monthly in basic foodstuffs like mealie-meal, cooking oil and sugar.

Daily the prisoners require 11 560kg of mealie-meal, 7 706ml of cooking oil, 9 633kg of sugar, vegetables and other foodstuffs.

ZPCS Commissioner-General Retired Major-General Paradzai Zimondi lamented the underutilisation of the farms.

He attributed poor production to insufficient inputs and lack of farming equipment.

“We do not have proper farming equipment at our farms. We also lack the inputs. Although we have the labour, we fail to fully utilise the all the 23 farms that we have. If we had the machinery and enough seed we could have been somewhere. With all the required tractors, disc harrows, combine harvesters, centre pivots, we can produce enough for our inmates as well as surplus for the market,” said Comm-General Zimondi.

Investigations by The Herald revealed that some prison officers working at the farms were in the habit of either stealing or misusing the inputs meant for ZPCS farms.

Asked to comment on the issue, Comm-General Zimondi confirmed theft was rife saying those caught diverting or stealing inputs had since been arrested.

“We have had cases of theft and misuse of farming inputs but the culprits get arrested and we allow the law to take its course,” said Comm-General Zimondi.

In 2014, three ZPCS staff members based at Chikurubi farm were arrested for allegedly stealing over seven tonnes of urea fertiliser, 12 bags of 50kg of compound fertiliser each, 113 litres of dual chemicals, 38 litres of Diamethoate chemicals, two size 16 tractor trailer tyres, 605 packs, each of 200g of Shumba Dust and five by 16 litres knapsack sprayers.

They have since appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court facing theft charges. Twenty-five bags of urea were recovered from two people who had bought from the officers.

In another case of looting, a top prison officer in Mashonaland West made news for allegedly stealing four tonnes of urea from Hurungwe prison farm.

She reportedly hired a vehicle and diverted the fertiliser to her own farm. Out of 23 farms owned by ZPCS countrywide, only three are producing to expectation.

The prisons boss said two farms— one in Mashonaland East and another in Mashonaland West—which have irrigation equipment were being fully utilised.

“Two of our farms that have centre pivots — in Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West—are producing well. They produce enough for the prisons in their respective provinces and also cater for other non-producing prisons,” Comm-Gen Zimondi said.

However, Command Agriculture has, over the past few years, boosted production at some of the farms with Mashonaland West harvesting 860 tonnes of maize last year.

Thanks to Government intervention, ZPCS harvested 100 tonnes of maize in 2017 while Chikurubi farm has boosted food security for the inmates through improved production in the 2018-2019 farming season.

At least 200 hectares were put under Command Maize.

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Selection process riles aspiring judge

Source: Selection process riles aspiring judge | Herald (Africa) Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter SOUTH AFRICA-based Advocate Sheillah Kanyangarara has criticised the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for burdening aspiring High Court judges with a written examination before participating in public interviews. Sixteen nominees were selected for the public interviews after passing closed-door examinations which involved […]

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Source: Selection process riles aspiring judge | Herald (Africa)

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
SOUTH AFRICA-based Advocate Sheillah Kanyangarara has criticised the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for burdening aspiring High Court judges with a written examination before participating in public interviews.

Sixteen nominees were selected for the public interviews after passing closed-door examinations which involved the writing of a judgment. The public interviews took place on Monday and Tuesday. There were 43 nominees short-listed to undergo the public interviews in terms of the country’s Constitution.

However, the bulk of the aspiring judges could not break the first hurdle of closed-door examinations, which Adv Kanyangarara said were not part of the Constitution.

Those who failed the written examinations were allowed to exercise their constitutional right to participate in the public interviews.

Adv Kanyangarara and Zvishavane-based lawyer Mr Tichaona Chivasa, who both failed the pre-test, chose to exercise their rights to participate in the public interviews and appeared before the nine-member JSC panel.

When her turn to face the panel came, Adv Kanyangarara raised her concern over the manner in which the JSC had allegedly breached Constitutional provisions.

After Chief Justice Luke Malaba reminded her that she did not perform well in the first stage of the interviews by the JSC, Adv Kanyangarara said the process was not constitutional.

“We keep the results confidential unless you want this commission to disclose to you here or in the course of the interview what you scored, otherwise we keep the result confidential,” said Chief Justice Malaba.

Adv Kanyangarara said she had earlier approached the JSC seeking reasons for judgment and her transcript, but was told it was the property of JSC. She told the commission that judges are supposed to be public and for her to be told of her score during the interviews was tantamount to embarrassment and grossly unfair, wrong and unjust.

Adv Kanyangarara said she made a decision to come before the panel to raise concern at the lack of transparency in the way the examination was conducted.

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Researchers cure HIV in mice

It was recently announced that researchers have found a way to cure mice of HIV […]

It was recently announced that researchers have found a way to cure mice of HIV [...]

Researchers cure HIV in mice

It was recently announced that researchers have found a way to cure mice of HIV […]

It was recently announced that researchers have found a way to cure mice of HIV [...]

The Chronicle on an Anti-Shona drive in Bulawayo

It started with rumours that Shona Bulawayo city Councillors conspired to fire top Bulawayo Council Management. We then saw what looks like a petition signed by six Councillors mostly with Shona surnames asking for an urgent council meeting for the purpose of dealing with senior council disciplinary issues. Source: The Chronicle on an Anti-Shona drive […]

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It started with rumours that Shona Bulawayo city Councillors conspired to fire top Bulawayo Council Management. We then saw what looks like a petition signed by six Councillors mostly with Shona surnames asking for an urgent council meeting for the purpose of dealing with senior council disciplinary issues.

Source: The Chronicle on an Anti-Shona drive in Bulawayo – The Zimbabwean

What I observed is that the Chronicle does not report in a balanced manner. The reportage by the Chronicle, as usual, is unbalanced on the matter. As I read the unfolding of this story from the Chronicle I concluded that the paper aimed to raise tribal animosity within the Bulawayo City Council. The Chronicle insinuates that the Shona Councillors are conspiring against a Ndebele Town clerk. To my surprise, I found that some Bulawayo residents associations and some other Regional Bulawayo political parties seem to have bought the Chronicle’s biased narration.

I do agree and believe that this time around a good number of Shona Councillors was elected into the Bulawayo Town Council and obviously these councillors represents the MDC party led by Nelson Chamisa. What I don’t know is the criteria used by Chamisa’s party to come out with such a big number of councillors of Shona origin to represent the party in Bulawayo city, a city which is believed to be in the midst of a Ndebele community. What was the selection criteria used by the MDC party and was the selection criteria fair or it was manipulated or biased on tribal grounds.I think a research need to be done in this area in order for all concerned people to come with an informed conclusion.

The author is of the view that the criticism of the Acting Mayor and Bulawayo councilors of Shona origin is not at all justified. Bulawayo’s councilors, Shona or Ndebele must be allowed to discharge their duties freely and that they must be protected against any form of discrimination as enshrined in the Zimbabwean constitution.Bulawayo can have a Shona Mayor and Harare can have a Ndebele Mayor. I don’t believe that Bulawayo is a Ndebele City but I believe that Bulawayo is home to all Zimbabweans of different tribal origins. If the Shona councillors were elected by the people of Bulawayo, who must stop them from discharging their duties.

I do believe that the road which the Chronicle is now trod-ding is a dangerous one. We cannot have a national newspaper reporting with tribal undertones. The Editor of the Chronicle has completely forgotten what happened in Rwanda where politicians used government media to speak against people of another tribe and a genocide followed. If the Ndebele people make an uprising and start killing Shona people in Bulawayo the Editor of the Chronicle will be held accountable.

Now that the Bulawayo town clerk was suspended yesterday, I want to advise him to comply with the suspension order and follow the disciplinary processes. I think this is the time for him to get legal assistance, let him look for competent lawyers like those from Calderwood and Brice and partners. There is a lawyer called JJ Moyo there, I believe he is the best labour lawyer in Bulawayo. He must not be fooled by Bulawayo pressure groups into believing that an Acting Mayor does not have powers to suspend a town clerk. Let him refer to Section 52 of the Urban Councils Act and read the law for himself. I advise the town clerk to gather his evidence well otherwise he will be jobless soon.

I got surprised to hear that the Mayor who is on leave had the audacity to comment on issues happening at the city council. He was quoted to have said that the deputy Mayor does not have powers to suspend the town clerk. Does the Mayor know the meaning of delegation? Is it professional for him to criticize his deputy before he gets a briefing from the one who is running the office in his absence? I now doubt the professional qualities of all those appointed to lead the city and no wonder Bulawayo residence do not have water yet dam levels are said to be at 90 %.

I believe that the city is being managed by incompetent councillors and management and that the pressure groups and residents associations and trusts are doing a de-service to their members. Instead of asking for service from council management they are now running with tribalism stories churned by a tribal Chronicle newspaper. I feel pity for Bulawayo residence who are losers in the whole drama.

 

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