The president of the Labour Economists Afrikan Democrats (LEAD), Linda Masarira, has demanded that the City of Harare restores water supplies to all suburbs, saying the local authority is now violating residents’ rights by failing to provide potable water.

Water supplies in Harare have become erratic in most places, and in some, virtually non-existent after the reduction of water production at Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Waterworks. Harare City Council recently issued a statement saying a shortage of water treatment chemicals has resulted in the water crisis.

Masarira said that council officials including Harare mayor Jacob Mafume should prioritise service delivery and not reward themselves with hefty allowances. She posted on Twitter:

Harare West in particular & other parts of Harare have had no running water for the past 3 weeks.

This is a clear violation of section 77 of the constitution of Zimbabwe which enshrines the right to safe, clean & potable water. Water is life, the unavailability of it, therefore, is a threat to people’s health & sanitation.

@cohsunshinecity & local government ministry should stop playing with people’s lives & ensure that water is available for all as soon as yesterday. We can’t be debating availability water issues in this day & age.

The state of service delivery by local authorities in Zimbabwe is in a quagmire & much can be done to address fundamental challenges bedevilling that sector.

@cohsunshinecity can’t be spared the rod as they are to blame for the failure to provide clean & safe water to HRE residents.

We call upon @cohsunshinecity, @JMafume, and all councils and boards to ensure that ratepayers come first before awarding themselves hefty salaries.

We call upon all relevant stakeholders to be aware that people’s lives matter & that failure is no longer an option.

Acts of unparalleled mismanagement have led to a serious decline in service delivery.

It is disheartening to note how public officials in charge of public service delivery like refuse collection, water treatment, road management, and public health are abusing public service.