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THE MAN WHO HAS SURVIVED LONGEST IN ZIM "OPPOSITION" POLITICS!

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TSVANGIRAI IS MUGABE'S SORE FINGER!

TSVANGIRAI IS MUGABE'S SORE FINGER!
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TSVANGIRAI WAS BEATEN BY MUGABE'S GRADUATES!

TSVANGIRAI WAS BEATEN BY MUGABE'S GRADUATES!
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Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
I look for "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" at all times.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Byo a victim of dangerous political games": Tsvangirai

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OPPOSITION leader Morgan Tsvangirai, after a tour of Bulawayo, said the city that was once the bastion of Zimbabwe’s industry is in decay. Here, he writes for The Financial Gazette on the crisis, and how he thinks the decline in local government can be reversed.

WHILE it is generally acknowledged that dictators are known for their willful callousness and amazing exploits to waste away their kith and kin, there comes a time when a people are forced to unite against abuse and resist.

A major human catastrophe has been allowed to fester in Bulawayo, with a water shortage that is slowly, but surely, grating itself towards a messy spectacle.
Like the early days of Gukurahundi, information was deliberately denied to the entire nation with regards to the extent of state brutality on ordinary citizens. Today, Zimbabweans are totally unaware of the seriousness of the water shortage in Bulawayo and its impact on life in that beleaguered city.

(President) Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF think they can punish a whole community with impunity, for its supposed political sins either historical or contemporary. But the people have set their countdown timers and have the solution to the deepening level of neglect they see and experience every day.

In its prime, Bulawayo was the place to be: an industrial hub strategically located to service southern Africa with a bustling manufacturing, textile, agriculture (beef, milk, hides and skins), leather, cultural and tourism industry.
The question uppermost in people’s minds is: what happened to Bulawayo? Why has ZANU PF and (President) Mugabe placed the city in a low-intensity genocidal phase, especially after independence? Many immediately think of the politics of exclusion and retribution, with some justification.

Zimbabweans see Bulawayo as the centre of excellence, a meeting point for diversity and tolerance and an historical school for trade union and political activism. Most nationalistic politicians today came through Bulawayo.

Today Bulawayo, affectionately known as the City of Kings, is a shell of its former self — without water, without electricity, a fast receding industrial base with no jobs, no food and no opportunity.

What ZANU PF and (President) Mugabe have failed to destroy is hope. The people of Bulawayo have a vision. The people of Bulawayo can see a New Zimbabwe. They are determined to shape the future.

Bulawayo requires 160 000 cubic metres of raw water a day to meet all essential needs and to regain its lost glitter. The city has the capacity to supply 180 000 cubic metres a day from five supply dams — all constructed by the city itself over a 60-year period.

These five supply dams all deliver water by gravity feed to the municipal pump station at Lower Ncema dam from where the raw water is delivered to the water purification plant at Criterion in Bulawayo.

Ten years ago the government built a new dam at Mtshabezi in the Matopo Hills but failed to complete the project by installing a pump station and the necessary pipeline to feed water to the Ncema pump station. During a previous crisis, the government established a network of 77 large wells at an aquifer in Nyamandlovu.
The capacity of these new facilities at the time of design was 20 000 cubic metres a day from Mtshabezi and 35 000 cubic metres day from the aquifer.

In the last two years, low run-off (2005/6) and low rainfall (2006/7) resulted in the gradual shut down of the supply dams with four now decommissioned — the last (Inyankuni) just two weeks ago. This leaves one dam to supply the city — Insiza and this is now 37 percent full.

While this was happening vandalism and theft of equipment and pipelines have rendered the majority of the wells on the aquifer unusable. Only a few wells are running and the system is delivering a mere 2 000 cubic metres a day.
The total water supply to the city has declined to such low levels, which are grossly insufficient to meet even the most basic of needs. I saw the dams at the weekend; they have been reduced to little puddles.

I was with the people at water collection points. Widows and mothers told me harrowing tales of blocked sewer systems, of diarhorrea outbreaks, of struggling maternity hospitals, boarding schools and hotels and of desperate factories. I shall be in Bulawayo again to mobilise people against this continuing nonsense. We have to stop the social and human hemorrhage.

I met the Bulawayo executive mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, who firmly believes the city is a victim of dangerous political games — all designed to punish and control the people.

Only recently he was surprised to be introduced to a coterie of ZANU PF faithfuls who are billed to take over parts of the city as village heads, sobhukus! There are 160 boreholes to be supervised by the new city sobhukus. Unbelievable stuff in Bulawayo — all meant to clear up the little that is left and drive everybody out to the village.

The city draws its supplies from the Criterion waterworks via gravity system. Because the high-density suburbs are further away from Criterion they are therefore the last to receive water.

The supply from Nyamandlovu aquifer was meant to remedy this by feeding water under pressure into the more remote areas and to supply those areas with water from storage tanks. With the aquifer not functioning, this emergency supply is not working and up to 700 000 people have been without a steady supply of water for several months now.

All housing in Bulawayo is designed and built on water borne sewerage systems — with the water supply position these are no longer flushing effectively and this is a threat to basic health.

The mayor informed me that money was set aside for the Mtshabezi dam project but after a brief flurry of activity involving some Chinese nationals, work has stopped and no progress has been made. Without explanation, the government’s proposal to put pumps at Insiza Dam to boost delivery has been shelved.

(President) Mugabe and ZANU PF have routinely frustrated the council’s efforts to raise money to fix the problem. The private sector is keen to help, so are donor agencies. But government’s insistence on the control and management of the water supply has discouraged any would-be Good Samaritan from the subject.
While there has been a lot of talk about the Zambezi Water Project, the crisis in Bulawayo can be solved immediately without having to wait for Zambezi to provide a magic wand.

Insiza output can easily be raised to 70 000 cubic metres a day. The aquifer could supply another 35 000 cubic metres a day and Mtshabezi could yield up to 25 000 cubic metres a day for two years. These three projects would increase raw water availability to 130 000 cubic metres a day — enough for the city to crawl back to life.

Residents and volunteers can be mobilised to trench the 33 kilometre-stretch from Mtshabezi at no cost to (President) Mugabe and ZANU PF as soon as the regime removes the current roadblocks and allow the city to craft and implement a survival plan.
As if to add salt to injury, (President) Mugabe and ZANU PF want to pump water from the heavily polluted Khami Dam into the system to supply the high-density areas. The city is right in rejecting this dangerous option.

And to make matters worse, such a distressed city is owed a staggering $4 trillion by various government departments for water and other service charges. The Ministry of Local Government alone owes Bulawayo $200 billion!

Surely, what does this regime expect the people to do?

Without undue state interference, Bulawayo can solve its water problem. The city can source resources and work with residents on a permanent solution. Bulawayo thrived before independence without Zambezi water.

Bulawayo housed Zimbabwe’s leading industrial and commercial lights and provided jobs and sustenance to thousands when there was minimum political interference in municipal affairs. The regime’s perennial cry about the Zambezi water, which ironically get louder in times leading to an election, has become a hollow howl to cover up for political ineptitude, hate and callousness. The people can see through this forlorn strategy to paper over a massive humanitarian crisis when the reality says otherwise.

A new Zimbabwe should address the water crisis and revive Bulawayo. Twenty-seven years of retribution, 27 years of war on an innocent people, 27 years of state-induced infrastructural decay and damage on our lifeline is unacceptable. The time has come for Zimbabwe to unmask political charlatans and show them the door.

Our plan rests on devolution and genuine empowerment of communities to tackle local challenges while we embark on national programmes like the Zambezi Water Project. Long-term solutions are local. The people have the answers. Too much government breeds political corruption. Political corruption fertilises exclusion. Exclusion dismembers nations and leads to dictatorships.

Only a new Zimbabwe can dismantle the political edifice that denies Bulawayo life today.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

Morgan Tsvangirai has GOT TO WIN the RUN OFF. Somehow the African Union Countries should support and contribute to a non violent and supervised vote. Every Zimbabwean should take the view that it is their duty to vote - hopefully for the MDC president, even if there has been ZANO PF intimidation. This is the RIGHT time to FINALLY kick Mugabe out of power. If the constitution allows, I would urge MT to bring in the other opposition parties and roll them in with his vote so that there is a resounding victory for him and an end to the ruinous despot that Mugabe has turned out to be.