President takes swipe at MDC-T run council President Mnangagwa loads garbage into a truck during a national clean-up campaign in Chitungwiza in this file photo. (Picture by Justin Mutenda).

Felex Share, Harare Bureau

President Mnangagwa yesterday took Chitungwiza Mayor Lovemore Maiko and the MDC-T run municipality to task over perennial water shortages which are affecting residents and production in nearby industries.

The Head of State and Government also took a swipe at some Government officials for not taking part in the national clean-up exercise, saying they did not deserve to serve under his administration.

President Mnangagwa was in Chitungwiza yesterday for the monthly clean-up exercise where companies and residents complained that they were getting tap water only two days a week. He later took part in a clean-up exercise in St Mary’s.

He first toured Flysterv, a company that recycles plastic waste to produce materials used in making polyester and employs people from Chitungwiza. Flysterv officials complained to President Mnangagwa in the presence of Mayor Maiko that the never ending water shortages were affecting production.

President Mnangagwa told the Mayor to approach his office for assistance as concerted efforts were needed in solving problems bedevilling residents.

“The challenge they presented to me Cde Mayor is that they are getting water twice per week,” he said.

“I don’t know the reason. I appeal to you Mayor, because you haven’t appealed to me, to find a day when you are free and come and sit with me down and present your challenges. What we can do to end the crisis we can, what we are unable to do we will tell you. Don’t just be quiet because if they were getting enough water every week they would produce and employ more people.”

He urged council officials to find sites where residents can deposit their garbage before city trucks come to collect it. Mayor Maiko welcomed President Mnangagwa’s invitation, admitting that the municipality was failing to deal with the water shortages.

“The issue of water is something critical in waste management Mr President,” he said. 

“Chitungwiza, with its population of around 400 000 people, does not have its own source of water. That’s why we are trying to appeal to your highest office. We have a project that we have lined up and we need your support such that this project comes into fruition. Since you have invited me, I will be knocking on your door.”

On Government officials not taking in the clean-up campaign, President Mnangagwa said: “Before I came here, I checked in some Government departments and saw some seated, forgetting that the President has said every first Friday of the month civil servants should come out and clean their surroundings. Vanga vakatogara zvavo kuti tekeshe (They were relaxing). I said let me go because you don’t want to be clean but as someone advocating for cleanliness, I foresee myself remaining in Government with those who want a clean environment.”

President Mnangagwa urged more companies to emulate waste recycling being done by Flysterv, saying such projects were reducing the country’s import bill.

“This excellent project besides helping to clean our cities and municipalities is giving jobs to our people at household level,” he said.

“Our people can pick up waste, bring it here and earn some income. Beyond that, this factory processes waste into new products which again reduces our import bill. I am glad that this technology has come to Zimbabwe. More companies should venture into this business and spread across the country.”

He called on the people to continue embracing the monthly clean-up exercise, adding Harare had transformed immensely owing to the programme.

“It doesn’t mean it is Government but it is because of those people who have heeded the call to clean our environment,” he said.

President Mnangagwa was accompanied to the clean-up exercise by Ministers Prisca Mupfumira (Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry), Owen Ncube (State Security) and Obadiah Moyo (Health and Child Care).

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