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We will beseige ZINWA: Belvedere residents
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
November 15, 2007

Residents in Belvedere have threatened to demonstrate against the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA). The threats come following water cuts that are making life unbearable. Residents in Belvedere have gone for the last one week without tape water. A month ago residents in the same area went for two weeks without water. The water cuts caused cholera outbreaks and disturbed the normal flow of life. Women with infants had trouble washing napkins and bathing school going children. There was no drinking and bathing water.

CHRA Ward five members wrote a petition to ZINWA which has not had a response. It is against this background that residents in the area have agreed to mobilize each other and demonstrate against ZINWA. Belvedere residents also complain about unattended to sewer bursts which pose health hazards. Despite the poor services offered by ZINWA residents continue to receive ballooned bills of between 5 and 25 million dollars. The Minister of water resources and infrastructure development Engineer Munacho Mutezo has condemned the bills as highly unrealistic. He ordered the ZINWA board to investigate allegations that bills are being illegally inflated by ZINWA staff. It remains to be seen whether any perpetrators will be brought to book.

Water cuts are not peculiar to Belvedere as most suburbs in Harare are plagued by nauseating water cuts. CHRA receives reports of water cuts daily and encourages residents to challenge the incompetence of ZINWA. CHRA continues to advocate for the reversal of the administration of sewer and water services to local authorities. These local authorities must be run by democratically elected leaders who are not driven by the whims and caprices of party political patronage. Local authorities and the Minister of Local government Dr Chombo must employ Town Clerks and other critical staff on the basis of merit and qualification and not on the basis of political party affiliation.

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