Harare suburbs morph into cholera hotspots

Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti

THE City of Harare is in panic mode due to rising cholera cases in the high-density suburbs.

Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti yesterday urged residents to be on high alert for symptoms of cholera.

Glen View and Budiriro high-density suburbs have been the city’s major cholera hotspots and are in this current wave.

“I am alerting the public of the current cholera outbreak within the Harare Metropolitan province. I am, therefore, advising the public to be on high alert for symptoms of watery diarrhoea and to report to their nearest health facilities for treatment. Please do not ignore or dismiss any of these symptoms,” Muguti said.

He said emergency preparedness response teams and systems had been activated.

Muguti said there was increased spreading of the diarrhoeal disease, hence the need to implement preventive measures.

“During this outbreak, all local authorities have been directed to implement the following measures; stop unlicensed and unclean food outlets from operating in open spaces, all ships, restaurants and food outlets to have clean toilets with running water, all schools to ensure that toilets have running water and soap for schoolchildren to wash their hands and all office buildings and work spaces to have functional toilets with running water and soap,” he said.

Last week during a training workshop for journalists in Kadoma, a top government official said the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe had no epidemiological link to any country in the region or any place that has recorded cholera cases.

As of Sunday May 21, the country had a cumulative total of 1 285 suspected cases and 348 culture confirmed cases.

Harare had 307 suspected cases and 87 culture confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, Muguti has warned corrupt councillors saying that they would be prosecuted.

“Strong action is being taken against corruption in Harare Metropolitan province as law enforcement agents will be tracking all shenanigans and bringing offenders to book,” he said.

This comes after widespread allegations that some councillors in the province are involved in illegal deals in the allocation of residential stands.

“It has come to our attention that there are some councillors who are involved in the illegal parcelling out of residential stands, and some are parcelling out graves to councillors, who in turn charge exorbitant fees of between US$500 and US$600.”

He said while the local authority was not selling graves to the people, councillors were doing so for their personal gain, resulting in revenue leakages.

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