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Masvingo rejects plans to take over city's water supplies
February 24, 2007
MASVINGO – Masvingo’s city council on Wednesday clashed
with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) over the parastatal’s
move to take over water supplies in Zimbabwe’s olderst city.
At a tense public
works and planning committee meeting at the council’s offices on
Wednesday, ZINWA indicated that it wanted to take over the city’s
water system triggering strong opposition from councilors.
the decision arguing that it would be unfair to hand over the water
system to ZINWA after residents had directly invested in the city’s
water augmentation project.
Last year, residents
in working class suburbs were levied about Z$2 000 per household
while those in affluent suburbs paid Z$10 000 for the water project.
is currently looking for Z$5 billion to complete the second phase
of the project.
“We told them
that the water system does not belong to the local authority since
residents invested in the project last year. What we want is for
ZINWA to meet residents and explain its position.
do not meet the residents then it means that parastatal will never
take over the project,” said Femias Chakabuda, a member of the council's
public works and planning committee.
mayor Alois Chaimiti confirmed the impasse on Friday adding the
council was expected to convene a meeting yesterday to discuss the
“It is true
that council is opposed to the idea and we will convene a special
council meeting to chart the way forward,” said Chaimiti, a senior
official of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
A senior ZINWA
official identified as Mare insisted yesterday that they will go
ahead with plans to take over the city’s water system as it was
a directive from Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo.
“We are not
going to change the decision because this is a ministerial
directive,” said Mare when contacted for comment yesterday.
month, hundreds of residents in Zimbabwe’s second biggest city of
Bulawayo marched in the city to protest against plans by ZINWA to
take over the city’s water supplies.
accused ZINWA of serious inefficiency in areas it has been in charge
such as the capital Harare where residents have gone for months
on end without any water supplies. - ZimOnline
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