When ZANU-PF aspiring councillor for Belvedere West Abraham Samushonga told a meeting the other day that the ruling party was in the habit of by-passing local opposition councillors when implementing developmental projects, many thought he was kidding.
Glen View South Constituency residents were left shell shocked, after ZANU-PF parliamentary candidate for the constituency, spear headed the drilling of boreholes last week with a government body the District Development Fund providing resources for the process, behind the Ward 32 councillor, Ms Gaudencia Marera’s back.
This resulted in residents raising concerns regarding sites of boreholes and the possibility of water borne diseases emanating from contaminated water table.
The residents raised the issue with the Community Water Alliance (CWA) ward 32 Committee, which in turn engaged ward 32 Councillor about the massive drilling of boreholes in the area.
The Councillor said she was not consulted on the matter. She added that she had previously applied for 15 boreholes to be drilled in her ward but was told to wait until the health department confirmed its safe to drill boreholes in her area.
According to her, the health department had not given her green light to proceed because Glen View is a hot spot for typhoid and cholera.
Marera confronted DDF for explanation only to be told there is a by-election in Glen View South constituency and DDF was being arm-twisted to drill boreholes at any location the ZANU-PF candidate points.
The ZANU-PF parliamentary candidate in the by-election Offard Muchuwe said they are going to drill 15 boreholes before the election day which is the 7th of September 2019.
However, the sites visited by CWA Committees where boreholes have been drilled pose health hazards to residents, as they are located amid an illegal refuse dump site Glen View 1 extension, near a dump site and stream, 50 metres away from Amalinda Road between Glen View 1 and 7, among other anomalies.
Be that as it may, Glen View is a hot bed for water borne diseases, and most sites in the area are condemned for borehole drillings.
Meanwhile, the drilling of boreholes towards a by-election which were stopped in the past, has further exposed two flaws on elections in Zimbabwe, as a vote buying gimmick.
As stated by CWA, such acts exposes ZANU-PF of the hypocrisy they are.
“Before the announcement of a by-election it was deemed unhealthy to drill boreholes in Glen View. When a by-election was declared all of a sudden all Cholera concerns are shelved and boreholes become a necessity,” CWA chided.
The community alliance further say the conflation between state and political party with any development framework in Zimbabwe viewed in a partisan manner, is being exposed.
“A parliamentary candidate for a party points to DDF where boreholes should be sited. Engineers have been temporarily shelved and their technical expertise ignored,” the body added.
CWA views this act of disregarding of health concerns posed by borehole drilling as violence. It is violence because it has the potential to take away lives, harm physical well being of residents and affect health status.