BY MOSES MATENGA
OPPOSITION MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday described the situation in most urban centres as dire, with service delivery virtually grounded due to alleged interference by central government and what he termed a “Zanu PF-engineered” recall of his party councillors.
Addressing supporters and residents during a tour of Harare’s residential areas before launching the party’s national clean-up campaign in Mabvuku high-density suburb, Chamisa said he was shocked by the poverty levels and amount of uncollected garbage in communities, adding this was a reflection of an “absent leadership”.
He urged communities to mobilise themselves to clean up their environment instead of waiting for the decimated opposition-led councils to collect the garbage.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched a similar campaign in December 2018, with residents expected to clean up their surroundings every first Friday of the month, but the programme has not been consistent.
Chamisa’s clean-up campaign was almost blocked by riot police officers who trailed his entourage, discouraging large gatherings.
“I must say that the situation is very dire,” Chamisa said.
“I am extremely disappointed by the service delivery level but also disappointed by the attitude of different leaders of society.
“You find that there are loads of rubbish dumps and nobody is providing leadership that is supposed to be provided.”
Turning to police officers who attempted to block his clean-up initiative, Chamisa said: “Nobody should be blocked from doing such activities. This is a national programme. Making Zimbabwe great is not a solo effort, it is a collective effort.”
Mnangagwa’s government has often blamed the MDC Alliance for the collapse of service delivery in major cities and towns, an allegation the opposition party denies, blaming government interference.
Chamisa added: “We can do a lot to take care of our environment. We have a failed leadership in this country, but as we wait to resolve and fix the fundamental broad question on failed leadership, we can do something at a community level, at a local level. It’s about residents doing something to fix our own problems.
“I have just walked around, it is so embarrassing. Little things we must do and that is what we must do.”
So far, 164 MDC Alliance councillors and 40 MPs have been recalled from councils and Parliament by the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora.
Chamisa said the “Zanu PF-engineered” recall of MDC Alliance-elected officials had also contributed to the poor service delivery.
“I have already asked for community leaders to activate a process to provide leadership at a community level under this campaign to make Zimbabwe clean,” he said.
“Nobody is without blame. This is a community responsibility and also a leadership responsibility, but unfortunately, you know that most of the elected councillors have been recalled, most of our MPs have been recalled but that is not an excuse for them not to do anything for their community.”
Harare City Council on Thursday conceded failure to provide service delivery, particularly refuse collection and pleaded with communities and the corporate world to chip in.
The capital city has been turned into an eyesore and a health hazard as residents dump garbage at undesignated sites as council pleads incapacitation.