Long gone are the times when a burst sewage tank or pipe was a gross site.
Today residents in the capital have become used to the sight of rivers of sewage running in their yards or along the road.
Municipal workers take decades to come when notified about the burst sewage.
Worse-off, is when the sewage problem is isolated to a single or very few houses, they don’t bother to come.
More often than not one needs to bribe them to come.
Or, you pay one Council worker to come with Council tools during his spare time for a private side-job.
If you don’t, the sewage will flow and flow whilst you curse and curse.
2) Water Shortages
Economic challenges have brought with them water shortages. That’s what Council says.
Morton Jaffray and Prince Edward Water Works are perennially broken down, under maintenance or the chemicals have run out.
Water shortages have become so rampant that politicians now campaign in urban areas with promises to put boreholes.
3) Garbage Piles
Once it was that Harare had proper drains, plastered with cement to carry away excess water.
Today the many drains across the capital are garbage landfill sites.
They are clogged and full of piles of garbage which residents throw there.
Myriad programs to tell residents about the money in the garbage or the need to dig pits or separate sadza from plastic; have all not worked.
The piles keep growing bigger.
At times now on the few occasions that Council trucks come to collect rubbish, they simply go to those piles and no longer move around the locations.
4) Transport Blues
Once upon a time ZUPCO was about efficiency and order.
You went to a bus stop and stood there in a line and soon enough the bus would come and pick you.
Today commuters are having torrid times just getting transport to get in or out of the CBD.
The kombis have been shut out and yet the replacement ZUPCO has been a shoddy, inefficient and pathetic replacement.
The few buses available are doddering relics and cannot manage the huge market.
This has created nightmares for commuters some who have been robbed after boarding vehicles for robbers.
In the evening the CBD is a messy sight of agitated bodies tussling for a way home in a sight that classically captures the frantic and confused state of the nation.
5) Informal Markets
Like the rest of the country, Harare has been informalised.
They are informal trading places everywhere you look.
People have opened informal trading places everywhere to supplement or make a living.
In the CBD authorities, have vainly tried to run-out the vendors and traders but it’s a lost battle.
The sight is ungainly for a capital city whose leaders are dreaming about a middle income country in 9 years’ time.
The easy prediction from the bare facts around the capital show that whatever Zimbabwe is going to be in 2030, middle income isn’t one of them.
A huge SME capital of runners, street dealers, cross-boarders and hustlers is more like it.