City Council stretches a begging bowl

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Harare City Council has resorted to take a begging bowel to business and citizens to “adopt” key infrastructure in the capital.

Newly elected councilors walked into a death trap as they faced a deadly Cholera epidemic and rising inflation during their first 100 days in office, situations that have almost crippled service delivery.

In the midst of that crisis, Harare Mayor Herbet Gomba told Business Times that all was not rosy for his administration; pleading with citizens and firms to take charge and assist in the running of the city by assisting in some refurbishments on roads, public toilets among other areas.

Mobile network operator Econet has since adopted First Street while Liquid Telecoms has taken interests in addressing challenges in different suburbs.

“We have toilets, which were built long ago but can’t be used because of the state they are in. If you can adopt them, adopt them, if you can adopt the roads, adopt them,” he said.

“We came up with a team to say we have toilets in the city with broken flushing systems, no asbestos at the top so we feel the need to refurbish. We have started by asking our citizens to ensure that our infrastructure is refurbished and spruced up and retained to its former position.

“We will be calling upon citizens to contribute towards that. One citizen has contributed $1000 so that will be enough to fix the flushing system at Copacabana.”

Council has so far received more than $75 000 from FBC bank with Turnall Holdings expected to hand over sewer pipes for Glen View suburb.

“They (central government and stakeholders) have been very supportive, private business has been coming to assist, the major one being Liquid Telecoms and Econet. Liquid said they will come into Budiriro and Glenview to put up new pipes and that is what we wanted,” he said.

“Econet has come in and would want to assist in refuse removal and adopt and refurbish First Street. This is besides what we have been getting from other companies including Mashwede and so many have been coming. We would want to reach out to many companies,” he said. Gomba said Harare had become too small to accommodate the current population. “Lake Chivero was constructed in 1952 for less than a million people. The roads were meant to be refurbished after every five years. However over the years, not a lot was done,” he said