Chitungwiza residents plead with Gender Parliamentary Portfolio Committee

Residents in Chitungwiza’s Zengeza 2 and St Mary’s have pleaded with the Gender Parliamentary Portfolio Committee to improve the water woes in the areas.

This surfaced today during a tour of Chitungwiza by the Gender Parliamentary Portfolio Committee.

The tour which was organized by ActionAid Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWALA) was meant to give the committee a better understanding of the situation on the ground in relation to service delivery and its impact on violence against women in public spheres.

Elizabeth Kokera, a Zengeza 2 resident pleaded with the committee to advocate for the availability of water on a daily basis as well as constructing more boreholes.

“The availability of water will limit cases in which women are unfairly treated as they ferry water from the borehole, “said Kokera.

She said this will reduce cases of gender based violence that are emanating from water woes.

Another resident who identified herself as Chiedza Shamhu said water woes in the area have fueled the number of teenage pregnancies.

“Last year we had a number of pregnancies which stemmed from water woes. Our young girls would pretend as if they are fetching water yet they are creating time to see their boyfriends, “she said.

James Phiri, a St Mary’s resident said Zanu PF supporters are politicising boreholes and forcefully acquiring water in the name of the party.

“This borehole was not erected by Zanu PF and we have people who are now abusing the borehole saying it is Zanu PF property. We want our legislators to help us by dealing with such people,” he pleaded.

Ward three councilor (St Mary’s), Tendai Simon contends that the water system in St Mary’s has improved.

“We are now getting water 3 times a week as compared to the period when we would have water once a month,” he said.

He also said that his area does not have a borehole forcing people to use water from unprotected sources.

Tariro Tandi, the Transformative Justice Manager for ZWALA said, “The tour was meant to give legislators an understanding of the problems faced by women as they fetch water.”

She went on to say the tour was meant to give legislators firsthand information in regards to the problems faced by women as a result of dwindling service delivery.

“Women are solicited for sexual favours and we wanted residents to highlight such issues to the committee,” she said.

Going forward she said members of the Committee must lobby for policies which will revive the country’s delivery system.

“We hope that Members of Parliament will push for a positive change within our urban areas and formulate policies which will guarantee proper service delivery,” she said.

ActionAid ZimbabweChitungwizaTariro TandiZimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWALA)