Zimbabwe: Minister Scolds Mayor for Politicising Cholera Disaster

15 September 2018

Local Government Minister July Moyo has warned Harare mayor Herbert Gomba against "playing games" and attempts to score points when the city faced a devastating cholera outbreak that has claimed dozens.

This follows comments attributed to the MDC official in a local daily in which he blamed the Zanu PF led central government for the health disaster.

"It is important that everyone understands that cholera and typhoid are infectious diseases that know no bounds and certainly do not discriminate," Moyo said Wednesday.

"To attempt to create partisan political mileage out of the suffering of one's own supporters is diabolical and needs to end forthwith."

In his comments, Gomba said the "illegal" caretaker commission that was installed to run city affairs last month failed to discharge its duties leading to the outbreak.

"The statements by the mayor are inappropriate in the extreme," Moyo said, adding, "The utterances were unfortunate.

"The Government of Zimbabwe is under no illusions as to the amount of work that needs to be undertaken in order to get water and sanitation infrastructure for Harare province up to standards.

"We are aware of the chronic overloading of the system, parts of which are decades old.

"Since the dawn of the new dispensation, the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) himself has intervened and secured funding from the Government of China together with technical assistance for the complete overhaul of the bulk water supplies the purification works, the sewer plants and the water and waste reticulation system the value of this assistance is $940 million."

Moyo also said that he is aware that the opposition was yet to take up the offer to create a team to take Zimbabwe forward.

"I believe that the mayor's indiscretion should never be allowed to divert our attention from saving lives overcoming this scourge and many other hurdles we are going to face, has to be a team effort.

"The tiers of government are duty bound to work together for the people and therefore the mayor should have brought his issues to the Minister in the Minister's office that has an open door."

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