BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THE on-going fight for control of water treatment plants between the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) and Beitbridge municipality has been blamed for perennial water woes at the border town.
The two entities have a long running dispute for control of water affairs.
Zinwa sells bulk water to the municipality which then sells treated water to the more than 70 000 residents.
Beitbridge mayor Munyaradzi Chitsunge insisted that the municipality must be allowed to take charge of its water affairs.
“They should provide raw water and leave the purification to the council. They charge us a high mark up for their involvement in the process,” said Chistunge.
Beitbridge Residents Association chairperson, Emmanuel Takutaku said residents were going for days, even a week without water, forcing them to buy the precious liquid.
“We have parts of Ward 3, 4 and 5 that do not have water. People do not have water as sometimes they go 5 days without receiving water on their taps. I think the major problem of water comes from the tussle between the Municipality and Zinwa,” Takutaku said.
“Zinwa is supplying water to residents and at the same time the municipality is crying foul of Zinwa charging exorbitant prices on its water charges and at the end of the day, the residents are the ones who will suffer as they will not get the precious liquid.”
He said the shortage of boreholes was not helping matters.
“We also face challenges of boreholes that are not functioning like in ward 4. We only have 3 boreholes that are functioning in Ward 5. I only know of one borehole. Just imagine how big those wards are and there is just only one borehole. Water is not always there on the taps meaning there are very long queues at the boreholes,” he said.
Zinwa Spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga promised to respond to emailed questions sent.
“I will get back to you,” she said.
Last year Beitbridge Municipality was dragged to court by Zinwa over a $32 million debt accrued since 2011.