Burst sewer pipe as a result of an alleged illegal sewer connection by corrupt council workers has left a Harare family in shock and fear of contracting the deadly cholera disease.

Kizito Zishiri, of house number 2753, Princess Margaret Road in Marlborough, in Harare is living in an agonising fear of the deadly water borne disease that has recently left more than 38 people losing their lives, while a dozen others were hospitalised.

According to Zishiri, the problem was initiated by council officials who unscrupulously facilitated a sewerage connection to some illegal households in the area, amid serious shortcomings in the way the job was done.

The situation is said to have been getting worse, as it has never been attended to for over a year now, despite several petitions having been made by the family to the local authority.

The outcry from the family, who has made several reports to the local authority and its district offices, pushed the Harare Residents Trust (HRT) to recently pay the family a visit to ascertain the nature of the cause of the family’s discomfort.

The HRT established from the visit that the connections done from Dawn Properties, Westgate, and Red Roofs were indeed affecting Zishiri’s household. The main pipe that had been tampered with owing to illegal and poor workmanship was blocked, and could no longer have the capacity to link sewer to the main ponds.

Zishiri told this publication who had accompanied the HRT delegation that to make matters worse, council workers were disposing raw sewer effluent into the nearby Gwebi River which passes a stone throw away from this household.

Commenting on the matter, HRT Communications officer, Reginald Muzimu says his organisation has since engaged the local authority over the matter and put pressure on them to act.

“The HRT has contacted the City of Harare (CoH) over the matter, and it is our hope that they will do what they should have done long ago when the resident brought the issue to their attention. If they fail to act, HRT is going to escalate the calls until a solution is found.

“HRT holds the local authority fully accountable of the situation and CoH must act accordingly,” he says.

Meanwhile, the residents’ trust recently uncovered an untold story alleging that some council employees were failing to attend to sewer problems because of poor working conditions and lack of protective clothing.

Be that as it may, this is not the only case in which council officials had allegedly gotten involved in underhand healings and shod games, some officials have been implicated in corrupt deals like the parcelling out of wetlands and other open spaces restricted from residential and infrastructural developments.

In most cases this has resulted in health threats for residents. The HRT maintains that the local authority which was elected by the ratepayers, should always conduct its constitutional mandate in the most efficient and transparent manner.