Minister sued over floods 

Source: Minister sued over floods | The Standard


TWO Chitungwiza residents have taken Local Government minister July Moyo and the local authority to court over the poor drainage system in the town, which is causing flooding.

Several houses in Chitungwiza have been flooded this season after heavy rains due to poor drainage.

In an urgent chamber application filed at the Harare High Court, Daniel Tapfira and Emmerson Shereni Ndokwani argued that government’s failure to ensure Chitungwiza had a proper drainage system violated their constitutionally guaranteed rights .

Tapfira and Ndokwani cited Chitungwiza Town Council and Moyo as first and second respondents respectively.

They are seeking an interim order forcing government and the Chitungwiza municipality to maintain, repair and install a functional water drainage system in  the town.

The duo want particular attention paid to areas that include Seke’s Unit N Extension, Unit G, Unit A and Unit B.

Tapfira and Ndokwani said because of government’s failure to maintain, repair and/or install a functional drainage system, they were victims of flash floods that hit the town last month.

They said the drainage system in Chitungwiza was in a state of disrepair with the storm water drains covered with dirt or grass and in some cases, council neglected to maintain or even install a functional drainage system.

“My house is on a corner stand and the storm water drain pipes and bridge near my house have collapsed due to lack of maintenance by council,” Tapfira said.

“When we experience heavy rains, the surface runoff water collects in the broken storm water drain, which is adjacent to my house and cannot be channelled anywhere as the pipes are broken.

“The water, therefore, accumulates into my yard and into my house.”

On January 30, Chitungwiza council attributed the flash floods to illegal construction on wetlands, stream banks and waterways.

But Tapfira said council’s claims were untrue, claiming he did not experience any flooding until the drainage pipes collapsed.

“The floods are also a result of first and second respondents’ failure to have a comprehensive and sound policy and plan to deal with settlements on wetlands and respondents’ failure to develop local environmental action plans, which maintain wetlands as open spaces so that they perform their natural functions of absorbing water and avoid flooding,” he said in his founding affidavit.