THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

ZINWA must stop complaining
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
May 16, 2007

THE Combined Harare Residents' Association (CHRA) is extremely concerned by the errant behaviour of the powers that be at the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) including the Ministry of Water Resources and Infrastructural Development. The incessant complaints typical of cry babies and failures and are intended to camouflage their incapacity to satisfy the demand for water.

The Minister of Water and Infrastructural Development, Engineer Munacho Mutezo, was quoted in the Herald 15 May 2007 accusing the City of Harare of being dishonest in its dealings with the water authority. The media has been awash with misleading comments by ZINWA since they were imposed on Harare by Ignatius Chiminya Morgan Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development. Is it by coincidence or design that the decision to hand over our assets and lifeline to ZINWA was made at the he time he re-appointed the illegal Commission running Harare on 13 December 2006.

These accusations follow hard on the heels of yet another disastrous action by Mutezo. The reshuffling of the Zinwa Board on Wednesday 25 October 2006 by Mutezo was clear confirmation that Zinwa has failed to perform, even to the low standards expected from parastatals. Minister Mutezo ordered the water authority to urgently address the water woes being experienced in Harare. The regime constantly demonstrates its centralist and commandist attitudes and believes that by issuing orders, the situation will be rectified despite the fact that our water woes arise from a combination of bad policies, partisan political interference as well as technical and financial problems.

The time has come for the whole nation to reject and denounce this madness from the Minister and his cronies at the water authority. They are forever complaining about almost everything related to their services, blaming every bad thing on the City of Harare and taking credit for all the good things. Remember, the City has no legitimate authority save for an illegal commission appointed by the Minister. CHRA rejects these irrelevant excuses and insists that ZINWA must be disbanded with immediate effect or it becomes a department in the Ministry of Water Resources and Infrastructural Development with clearly terms of reference which does not include the responsibility of water distribution, treatment, supply .

Mutezo must just shut up and realise that he is a Minister responsible for a failed parastatal. ZINWA has nothing to show for its existence except of course 'jobs for the boys'. It is clearly a political (if not personal) project that is driven by malice and incompetence. The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government Honourable Margaret Zinyemba was quoted in the Herald (31 March 2007) saying Cabinet should reconsider its decision to transfer water and sewerage reticulation services from local authorities to ZINWA because the water authority lacked capacity and mandate.

CHRA is opposed to the commodification of basic services and especially to the de facto privatisation of our water resources for the enrichment of a few individuals. The water system belongs to Harare and must be returned to its rightful owners. Playing games and shifting responsibilities is not the answer to our water problems. CHRA demands the immediate return of water and sewer reticulation services to the local authority from ZINWA in line with Parliament and Senate recommendations. To cap it all, CHRA demands the immediate restoration of legitimate authority to manage the resources of Harare in line with court judgments listed below:

  • High Court, Hungwe J. HH 210/2001 (CHRA and Another vs. RG)
  • HH 80/ 2005 Makarau J (Christopher Magwenzi Zvobgo vs. City of Harare and Dominic Muzawazi)
  • Sandura J (Stevenson vs. Minister of Local Government and Others SC 38/02) and HC12862/00
  • Justice J. Chinengo-HH24-2002, and
  • Justice Kamocha ruling -HH 13-2007/ HC5604/06 (Nomutsa Chideya vs. City of Harare, the eight commissioners and the probe team that recommended Chideya's dismissal)
Visit the CHRA fact sheet

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.