Zanu PF supporters now water marshals

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF supporters have become illegal water marshals at boreholes across the country as water shortages turn political, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) claims.

With water and electricity now erratic, the combative Woza group led by Jenni Williams says government should put in place measures to ensure that women who bear the brunt of the shortages are protected from “Zanu PF” marshals.

Williams told the Daily News that Woza will not stop demonstrating against poor service delivery and poor governance until government brings back normalcy to the troubled southern African country where basic necessities such as water are a privilege enjoyed by a few.

As part of the 16 days against gender-based violence campaign, hundreds of women besieged the Parliament of Zimbabwe building last week demanding that police protect them from harassment at boreholes that have been drilled around the country to mitigate water shortages.

“A lot of our children are now pregnant and most of them are getting a raw deal when they go to fetch water at boreholes. We are urging our leaders that it is our right to get water. We used to get clean and treated tap water all the time,” said Williams.

Even though local authorities are struggling to provide water, they are unrelenting in dispatching water bills—a thorn in the flesh for women.

“We want Parliament to resolve issues of water because it is women who are affected the most. Women are the ones who fight with Zanu PF water marshals and we are tired of the militarisation of services such as water,” said Williams.

Prolonged water woes in urban areas have over time ignited outbreaks of communicable diseases such as cholera and the country is still to contain a typhoid scourge that has led to fatalities in Harare.

A petition handed over to clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma details woes that affect women daily such as gender-based violence.

In order to end the crisis, Woza demanded equality on the basis of gender, right to education and also right to protest and assemble freely.

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