Government Must Urgently Address Foreign Currency and Fuel Shortages

The prevailing situation where the country is experiencing acute foreign currency and fuel supply shortages are untenable and negatively impacting the quality of services offered by most local authorities, Chitungwiza municipality and Manyame Rural District Council included. Owing to foreign currency shortages, councils, clinics are failing to procure basic drugs needed to dispense in primary healthcare treatments. Water treatment chemicals are also beyond the reach of many local authorities as a result of foreign currency shortages. Some council refuse collection fleets and utility vehicles are grounded at the moment resultantly from foreign currency shortages. Councils are failing to access enough foreign currency to purchase spare parts for servicing utility vehicles that are critical in improving the state of social service delivery.

The fuel shortages that are also born out of the foreign currency shortages are not making it any better for service delivery. Council refuse collection trucks and other utility vehicles are spending hours queuing for fuel at the expense of service delivery. The brunt of foreign currency and fuel supply shortages is born by residents and ratepayers who are then shortchanged in the process as minimum standards of service delivery are failed to be met. Local authorities, even those that do not have the capacity to deliver quality services under normal circumstances, find an excuse to justify their failures.

The Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERA) urges the government and all the other relevant authorities to urgently address the foreign currency and fuel shortages in the country as these are affecting the delivery of critical services by local authorities. At this rate, and coupled with the absence of hospital doctors who are out of work due to an ongoing industrial action in the health sector, water borne diarrheal diseases such as cholera and typhoid are likely to surface.

Source: Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERA)