Internet shutdown affects councils

HARARE - The country’s recent stay-away, coupled with government’s shutdown of the Internet affected smooth operations of most local councils as they could not process bank transfers for various necessities including water chemicals.

Community Water Alliance (CWA) said because of the Internet shutdown, councils experienced problems in making payments for water treatment chemicals; most of which are sourced outside the country.

CWA advised that if the situation is not addressed urgently another cholera disaster might strike soon.

“Zimbabwe local authorities have run out of water treatment chemicals required in the water purification process. Among those mostly affected are Harare Metropolitan province, Masvingo and Gweru.

“The Internet blackout in Zimbabwe has affected electronic transfers at banks and payment for water treatment chemicals has not been spared. We urge the government of Zimbabwe to be sensitive to humanitarian concerns in their plans to contain   the citizen-led stay away,” CWA said.

Harare City Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said service delivery in Harare has been gravely affected as a result.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday Chideme said throughout the week council could not take stock of several of its key deliveries as there was no one at work and the Internet was down.

Last week, Zimbabweans took to the streets in protest after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a 150 percent increase in the price of fuel.

“A lot of our processes were affected by the week-long stay-away. We could not get deliveries of the things that constitute our service delivery mandate. For example fuel was not delivered at all during the week and that affected the smooth operations at Town House,” Chideme said.

He said currently they are working towards normalising the situation though it may still take time as not all employees have reported for work.

Gweru had to resort to one refuse truck collecting garbage for the whole city as most of them are either grounded by technical problems or do not have fuel.

The city’s mayor Josiah Makombe said the fuel crisis had hit the council hard and feared that diseases could soon spread.

“Our residents should bear with us as we try and find fuel. We do not have special allocations or reserves so we are all part of the suffering. While our water is still clean the Internet shutdown affected a lot of aspects of our service delivery,” Makombe said.


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