BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
GOVERNMENT yesterday blamed community garden owners in Bulawayo for the continuous sewer bursts being experienced in the city, amid reports that the garden owners were vandalising and diverting sewage water to their vegetable gardens.
This was revealed by Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister Judith Ncube in her speech at the funeral service of the late city engineer Simela Dube.
The city is currently experiencing recurrent sewer bursts, especially in Mzilikazi, Pumula, Magwegwe and Makokoba.
“Dube took us for a tour and showed us green gardens which were very beautiful. We watched from a distance in amazement and we said these community gardens are very beautiful. He (Dube) then told us that the garden owners were responsible for breaking sewage pipes so that they can divert water to irrigate their gardens,” Ncube said.
“Some are flushing down used pampers (disposable diapers), which is causing a lot of sewer blockages in the city. In some residential areas, some houses are flooded with sewer. I urge those who work with residents to educate them to be very careful.”
She then narrated to the mourners how President Emmerson Mnangagwa had chipped in during his tour of Bulawayo to address the water shortages in the city.
“The President tasked the Zimbabwe National Water Authority engineers for the Nyamandlovu Aquifer and Epping forests to ensure that they complete the project within a certain time frame, and that deadlines are met. The city is now pumping 20 megalitres into the Magwegwe reservoir and we want to thank Dube for his commitment in ensuring water provision,” Ncube said.
Mayor Solomon Mguni said the city had lost a greater leader in Dube, who died last week aged 56.
“The city has lost a son, a leader, a strategic thinker, innovator and an engineer par excellence. He was appointed director of engineering service in 2010 after the country was moving from a tough economic environment,” Mguni said.
“Dube spearheaded various projects for the city, including water and road infrastructure. Lack of funds did not deter him to come up with innovative solutions. He was involved in the day-to-day running of the services for the city.”
Town clerk Christopher Dube said Dube’s death had brought pain to the City of Bulawayo.
“The city is still in shock as we have been robbed of our own hardworking man who exhibited wisdom and super intelligence. Dube optimised humility and had the City of Bulawayo at heart,” he said.
He described the late Dube as a great innovator who spearheaded projects, including coming up with a viable transport system for Bulawayo.
Dube died last Thursday at Mater Dei Hospital following an undisclosed illness.
He was buried yesterday at the Lady Stanley Cemetery.