GOVERNMENT says Harare has become a ticking health time bomb and blames the opposition-led local authority for poor service delivery that has led to a cholera outbreak.
But mayor Jacob Mafume said the council had put in place a plan to prevent a catastrophe in the short-term.
Mafume said the city had recorded 39 confirmed cases of cholera as of May 15.
“In order to control the outbreak, the city has implemented short-term strategies to improve the water supply in the areas and this is bearing fruits as the Budiriro epicentre now shows less transmission,” Mafume said in his end of first quarter report in the capital yesterday.
“Some of the short-term measures include carting water to the affected areas using water bowsers, repair of broken-down boreholes and improved water supply in affected areas.”
However, National Housing minister Daniel Garwe and his counterpart Sekayi Nzenza [Industry minister] said Harare was a disaster waiting to happen after touring Mbare.
Garwe said the council was responsible for the sanitation and hygiene crisis in Mbare and the city at large.
“People are being forced to pay sewage bills by the council, but no services have been done. The council is also making people pay garbage collection fees, but there is litter everywhere, not only in Mbare,” Garwe told Mbare residents.
Garwe, who is also Local Government acting minister, said Mbare houses were no longer suitable for habitation.
“We will destroy these houses and build new ones with proper and working sewer systems. This place has over 3 000 people but they are using the same toilet. The pipes can no longer service such a populace,” he said.
Nzenza added: “Two days ago, I came to Mbare monitoring basic food commodities looking at how much prices have gone up. While on a monitoring survey, I came across this disaster (poor sanitation).”