3 September 2018

Zimbabwe: Expectations From Newly Elected Councilors

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Background to Our Expectations

The foundation to Community Water Alliance expectations is anchored on the need to ensure that 2018 to 2023 term should be mainly about issues not political grandstanding and personality politics. Water is an issue that should dominate this term. The era of #EDHasMyVote should be replaced by #WaterHasMyVote, the era of #ChamisaCheteChete should be replaced by #MvuraCheteChete, #AmannziKuphela and #VulaKogaKoga. The era of voters should transform into an era of #CitizensOwnVoiceOnWaterDelivery.

Our expectations are also informed by the fact that we have the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe that requires full consummation. Of particular importance are Sections 44 (on the obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights); Section 46(c) on consideration of international law, conventions and treaties to which Zimbabwe is a party; Section 62 (on access to information insofar as that information is required for public accountability and promotion of human rights); Section 68 (on administrative conduct that is lawful, prompt, efficient, reasonable, proportionate, impartial and both substantively and procedurally fair); Section 73 (on environmental rights); Section 77(a) on the human right to water and Chapter 9 on principles of public administration and leadership.

Our expectations take note of the following challenges which citizens within Local Authorities are facing. The challenges noted here have excluded those involving central government because we will publish expectations that should be met by central government after swearing in of Members of Parliament and Cabinet:

Low budget allocation on water by Local Authorities in Zimbabwe, both rural and urban.

Use of financial resources generated from water revenues for other purposes other than water provision.

Arbitrary water disconnections which are effected without accompanying court orders.

Poor planning, allocation of commercial and residential stands on wetlands as well as land invasions.

Tender-preneurship on tender processes involving water delivery and corruption on the administration of water funds.

Lack of access to critical information on water by residents.

Exclusion of stakeholder voices on policy and regulations formulation; expenditure tracking and performance of the budget.

Gender blind water provision framework.

Neglecting of disability concerns in water provision.

Poor administration of public funds as demonstrated by the Auditor General's reports.

Poor policies and regulations that have not given supremacy to constitutional provisions on respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights (Section 44); recognition of international law, treaties and conventions to which Zimbabwe is a party (Section 46(c)); gender equity (Section 56); access to information (Section 62); administrative justice (Section 68); environmental rights (Section 73); human right to clean, safe potable water (Section 77a) and rights of persons with disabilities (Section 83).

Drive towards privatization, commercialization and commoditization of water and the pre-paid water meters gaffe.

We the people demand

1) Respect, protection, promotion and fulfilment of the human right to water through:

a) Meaning budget allocation to water by Local Authorities. We are expecting at least 10% of the Local Authorities' budget to be allocated to water and sanitation.

b) Ring-fencing of the water account.

c) We expect that councillors issue a moratorium on arbitrary water disconnections through a full council resolution. Bulawayo councillors during the last term did so and why would others fail to follow suit.

d) Planning of Local Authorities, allocation of commercial and residential stands must respect, preserve and protect wetlands and catchments.

e) There should be accountability and transparency in the management and administration of water funds and tender processes. No to corruption. No to tender-preneurship.

f) Critical information on water that promotes accountability and human rights must be easily availed to the public at no cost.

g) A gendered water provision framework.

h) Infrastructure and facilities that is accessible to persons with disabilities.

i) An immediate stop to privatization, commercialization and commoditization of potable water meant for domestic use. No to pre-paid water meters.

2) Good and effective water governance

a) Stakeholder participation in (i) budget formulation, expenditure tracking and performance management; (ii) policy and regulations formulation.

b) Continued Audit and Publication of Up to Date Annual Financial Expenditures. Former Mayor of Harare Bernard Manyenyeni left a legacy of publicizing audited statements at the City of Harare. We demand maintaining of this legacy and improvements on accountability so that financial leakages are plugged out.

c) Policies and regulations of Local Authorities should reflect constitutional provisions contained in Sections 44, 46(c), 56, 62, 68, 73, 77(a), 83 and Chapter 9 of the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe.

d) Mayors should be persons with integrity and of good standing.

Water is a priority! 2018 - 2023 term must be about issues not slogans!

Source: Community Water Alliance

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