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Chitungwiza Ruins: How to Effectively Rundown a Town

Harare – The rot has finally manifested. But the locals had long prophesied it.  Chitungwiza – a town feeding on Harare’s infrastructure s...

Harare – The rot has finally manifested. But the locals had long prophesied it. 

Chitungwiza – a town feeding on Harare’s infrastructure systems – including water supply among other amenities – was always a hibernating calamity. 

Styled the sewage capital – many say that one can smell the town due to the strong scents spewing from the permanent filthy ponds. For the citizens, it is hard to accept – probably their nostrils are clogged with the rotten whiff. 

Once upon a while, wetlands were sacred. Until somebody reasoned they are inhabitable. Today, every swamp has been invaded by desperate home seekers, aided by corrupt municipal officials.

Sadly, the rain season brings more torment than joy for the dwellers as the homes are constantly flooded.
Sewage Ponds are a Permanent Eyesore 
Daily, municipal offices are clogged by land moguls targeting home seekers. Chibuku stadium – once a weekly epicenter of sporting attraction is in a wretched state.

Likewise, road networks are dilapidated. Schools are overcrowded. Amities are crumbling. Domestic water is a life hazard – if ever it comes. The town recorded substantial fatalities in the 2008 cholera outbreak.

Residents are refusing to pay rates. Municipality blames residents – residents insist they will not pay – so the war rages on. Efforts to disconnect domestic water supplies were impractical.

Retracing the Chitungwiza catastrophe is synonymous with other municipalities. Recurrent administrators have ganged to loot the town’s meager resources, often parceling land, leaving derelict infrastructure in their wake.

Even opposition councilors deemed as an alternative have frustrated the electorate. This has caused voter apathy in recent plebiscites. Incumbent councilors are suspended, while committees run the town’s affairs – a practice that has failed elsewhere.

As of writing, the Sheriff’s Department is attaching council’s assets – translating the town into a heap of garbage and stink over a $4,2 million debt. Refuse collection trucks, graders, furniture, computers and other properties were not spared.

Some personnel tried in vain to evade the ruling by removing essential equipment. The debt dates back to 2009, according to newspaper sources, when Nissam Private Limited was recruited to design and layout residential stands in Nyatsime Township.

Chitungwiza failed to pay Nissam, resulting in a court action. Nyatsime has been deemed to be outside Chitungwiza’s boundaries.

Corruption has been the daily bread in the town. Employees abuse council property for personal use, depriving town coffers. Political selections have stirred more chaos. Land barons have been spared a possible jail term due to political patronage.

Blotted staff is a perennial yoke for the council. Serving the community has become a fulltime employment for the majority of politicians.

“The US$4,2 million debt dates back to 2009 when Nissam was engaged for the design and layout of Nyatsime stands Service delivery is literally down for now. We have, however, applied to the High Court to reverse the attachment,” Town Clerk Dr George Makunde revealed, absolving himself.

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