By Wisdom Mumera
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) executive director Mfundo Mlilo has accused Parliament of neglecting its oversight role over local authorities which resulted in most of them abusing public resources.
Most local authorities have been accused of awarding heft salaries to their executives at the expense of service delivery and some of the officials have been engaging in various illegal activities.
Speaking at a meeting organised by Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST) to help residents craft petitions to Parliament, Mlilo said the legislature has been confining itself to national issues only.
“The use of resources by local authorities is a matter of national interest thus it’s a concern why Parliament has not intervened into the issues bedeviling us in Harare.
“Our money has been abused yet Parliament has not intervened. We have seen headlines about the deepening water crisis in Harare, headlines about water shortages but we have not seen headlines about Parliament intervening, grilling city officials,” he said.
The CHRA boss added that the current water crisis in Harare deserves Parliament interventions because it has a human face as it affects mainly women and children.
Mary Rose from the Embassy of Canada also concurred with Mlilo and urged the residents to utilise the constitutional space afforded through petitions to fight for their rights and safe water.
Harare is facing a water crisis with Morton Jaffray Waterworks reported to be producing only 470 mega litres of water against a daily demand of 1200 mega litres.
This is despite the Council receiving a $144 million loan to service its water facilities.
55% of the treated water is also reportedly getting lost before reaching residents due to old and broken pipes which need to be repaired and replaced.
Harare provides water to Ruwa, Chitungwiza, Norton and Epworth which further strains its abilities.