"Pay Up For Non-Existent Services," Tsvangirai Tells Shocked Residents

Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday told residents of Mabvuku and Tafara in Harare that they will have to pay for services they never get. Whether they like it or not.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 29 September 2009

Residents of Mabvuku and Tafara, who have gone for months and in some cases, more than a year, without water or electricity have been ordered by Morgan Tsvangirai to pay for the water they never got.

Tsvangirai was touring the area to see the allegedly new pipes being put down for the crumbling sewage system.

He revealed that Council will now enforce payment of fixed rate bills. Fixed rate. That means, you pay whether you get the service or not. Whether you get water or not. And now, Tsvangirai says they will not be asking nicely, but "enforcing" this new measure.

Previously, they would come to your house and lock up your taps for not paying. But with no water flowing in the taps anywhere and boreholes around the residential areas of Harare doing brisk business still, what could they possibly threaten you with?

Confiscate your property? Send you to jail. It will be interesting to watch.

Speaking in Shona, Tsvangirai also told residents he addressed: "Chemahara mushana" meaning "Only sunshine is free."

Residents have been angry over the last year or so to get bills from the City Council when no rubbish was being collected (No rubbish is still being collected in most areas of Harare and residents make their own plans), no water was running from their tapes and raw sewage flowed in their front yards.

It is also ironic because I specifically recall Morgan Tsvangirai encouraging people not to pay those fees when Sekesai Mkwavarara was still mayor. It made sense, then, as a sort of "no taxation without representation" type of protest.

But now he has changed his tune, although nothing has changed on the ground. Water is barely available in most areas, being cut off still for days on end without explanation, apology or even advertisements in the paper.

But let us not forget that there are many mouths to feed now in the feeding trough that is this government. They need that money to pay ridiculous salaries and allowances while claiming to earn only US$300.

There are vehicles to bought, furniture, fuel and allowances for US$11 million foreign jaunts.

Which is the pig and which is the human? Yes, Animal Farm again.


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