ZANU PF Member of Parliament for Seke Munyaradzi Tobias Kashambe has taken a swipe at financially incapacitated citizens who are failing to pay water bills submitting that they must relocate to the rural areas.
The former car dealer was speaking during the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Settlement on Tuesday.
He said the people who are failing to pay water bills in cities are supposed to be transferred to the rural areas.
“I think instead of disconnecting water pipes and removing meters, those who are failing to pay water bills in cities should find somewhere to live or even to go to the rural areas,that is where they belong,” he said.
He was responding to Hardlife Mudzingwa managing director for Community Water Alliance who had made submissions that the government has to differentiate those who are failing to pay water bills because of economic disadvantages and those who wantonly neglect payment.
“The new water bill must be able to differentiate those who do not want to pay water bills and those who are not able to pay because they are economically inactive. We want to avoid a situation whereby some homes are child headed and water pipes are disconnected and meters are removed because the family has failed to pay for water,” said Mudzingwa.
In an interview with Zimbabwe Morning Post, Mudzingwa said it was shocking that there are parliamentarians who have no citizens at heart and ignorant of the law.
“It is shocking that our parliament has people who think that the poor who are failing to pay for water are supposed to relocate from urban to rural areas when it is the right of people everywhere to have access to water,” he said.
One Harare resident, Tatenda Marufu said the Member of Parliament lacks sympathy with the poor otherwise government should pay on behalf of the poor rather than marginalizing them.
“This Member of Parliament lacks focus because honestly you can’t marginalize one because he or she is poor otherwise the government has to pay water bill on behalf of the poor,” he said.
The 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe contains provisions on the basic right to water, administrative justice, environmental rights, and obligations of the state and factors to be considered when limiting human rights.
Section 77 reads:
“Every person has the right to- safe, clean, potable water and
“ Sufficient food; and the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right”