The Chairperson of the Human Resources and General Purposes Committee Councillor Kudzai Kadzombe (CCC) said they approached the Local government ministry seeking approval to recruit drain cleaners, grass cutters, and street cleaners but Coventry refused to approve. Said Kadzombe:
Council is currently carrying out drain cleaning, catch pits cleaning, grass cutting, pipe drain de-blocking and spoil removal exercises citywide.
However, our efforts have been hampered by a shortage of manpower. Council has already engaged the parent ministry, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works seeking approval to employ drain cleaners, grass cutters and street cleaners as per the ministerial directive which is against the spirit of devolution.
The ministry requested justification for the need for those specific workers, but despite providing the justification the ministry is still to respond.
After frequent follow-ups with the Ministry, we have been advised that Minister July Moyo is on Leave and the Acting Minister Kirsty Coventry refused to approve.
Once the City, has been cleared to recruit, it will expedite the process.
Kadzombe said drain clearance is hampered by residents and vendors who have a tendency of using catch pits as litter pits.
This also results in blockages of catch pits and pipes leading to flooding, according to Kadzombe.
She said the local authority’s amenities division is doing day and night shifts in order to control litter while the roads division has established a designated gang responsible for drain cleaning and flood management to man the CBD throughout the rainy season. Added Kadzombe:
There also is a joint drain cleaning, drain clearing and spoil removal operation between the Amenities division and the Roads division.
This is a complementary exercise to the main drain cleaning programme. The main aim is to clear the illegal dumpsites in the CBD.