Mbare homes flooded again

HARARE - Fuming Mbare residents yesterday subjected a City of Harare (HCC) engineer to all manner of insults after incessant rains flooded their homes and destroyed their property again.

The local authority had set a January 31 deadline to improve drainage.

Apparently, the drainage ways were damaged after the construction of Gulf Sunshine Bazaar along Simon Mazorodze Road.

A heavy storm that pounded parts of Harare on Wednesday afternoon submerged Mbare residents’ homes and left them counting their losses again.

In the aftermath, HCC engineer George Munyonga surveyed one of the clogged drains that runs under Gulf Sunshine Bazaar before he was mobbed by residents demanding the demolition of the complex.



At a heated meeting with Mbare residents, the contractor of the complex acknowledged that developers had built on top of drainage pipes.

“We are going to re-open the original drain,” Munyonga said.
Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere has said the Gulf Sunshine Bazaar must be demolished as it falls short of construction standards.

“We are going to manage the drain; we may not necessarily carry out demolitions,” Munyonga said.

“The January 31 deadline for the works was met but the result was not really impressive. So we have resolved to re-route and we are working on opening up of the drain.”

In January, the same residents along Mbirimi, Mwamuka and Chinamhora streets had thousands of dollars’ worth of property destroyed.

The residents set up a committee to take the city to court for damages to their property.

And yesterday an angry resident slammed HCC accusing it of being in bed with the complex’s contractor.

“Since they built the complex, we have been experiencing these floods and its only getting worse,” Mbare resident Stacy Fisher said.

“It pains us even more that when this complex was constructed we were promised that our children would finally get work, but no Mbare resident was ever employed by this contractor.”
However, HCC mayor Bernard Menyenyeni defended the local authority, insisting they were doing all they could to find a lasting solution.

“One thing we can’t run away from is the extent of the rains this year,” he said.

“It’s a national disaster and certain vulnerable areas like Mbare are in the situation they are in. But there has been works that have been taking place in the past months but they can never be enough to conquer nature.”

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