They said reports to the council about burst sewer and water pipes were never attended to in time.
Pedestrians have virtually replaced traffic on the once tarred roads as most drivers opt for the side pathways because what has remained of the roads are just thin patches of tar that damage the vehicle tyres.
Chenai Nyazema (32) of Zengeza 1 said reporting a blocked pipe or overflowing sewage to council was a waste of time since officials always referred residents to private plumbers. Most of these plumbers, she said, were council employees who “moonlighted” during working hours using council equipment.
“We spent almost a month with raw sewage flowing at the corner of the main road from town and Rufaro Street such that we nicknamed the place pachimbuzi (toilet place),” said Nyazema. “Council officials take forever to come and rectify burst sewage and pipes.”
Nyazema said the raw sewage was a health hazard to Shingai Primary School children who have to cross the road on a daily basis, some of them bare-footed.
A grade six pupil at Shingai Primary School said younger pupils were oblivious of the danger they exposed themselves to by walking through the raw sewage.
“Grade one and two pupils play with the raw sewage sailing their toy boats ignoring warnings from older pupils, ” she said.
She said sometimes pupils were splashed with the raw sewage by motorists driving past sewage-filled potholes.
Another resident, Dorcas Nhira of Unit D said her neighborhood was now associated with the stench of raw sewage which has been flowing uninterrupted through the area over the years.
“Raw sewage flows on a daily basis near Seke 1 High School and this place is not only a health hazard to students but also to people who reside in the vicinity,” she said.
officials accused of greed
Some Chitungwiza residents say city council officials are more concerned with lining their pockets than providing services to the people.
“Council is more concerned with giving huge salaries to top management while residents are getting a raw deal in terms of service delivery,” said Diana Dhero.
“When you go to make a report of a blocked sewer or burst pipe, you are either ignored or referred to someone who is never within council premises.”
Acting town clerk for Chitungwiza, Fungai Mbetsa said council was in the process of developing a maintenance schedule aimed at improving residents’ living standards.
“Sewer blockage in the municipal area has been reduced from 400 to below 200 cases reported weekly and council has secured operational vehicles for use by council de-blocking teams to respond to residents’ needs,” said Mbetsa in a statement recently.