Gwanda mayor Lionel DeNecker has appealed to President Robert Mugabe to intervene in the local authority’s prolonged dispute with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) over a $3,5 million debt that has seen residents going for days without water.
DeNecker, a member of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, said he appealed to President Mugabe because Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had failed to address the issue.
Sometime in August, Zinwa threatened to disconnect water supplies to the Matabeleland South capital accusing the local authority of refusing to pay a $3 501 796 bill.
But the municipality applied to the High Court seeking an interdict against Zinwa over the matter.
“Zinwa supplies us with false figures that are misleading. They claim we owe them about $3, 5 million,” he said.
“The Prime Minister should have given a directive to relevant authorities to instruct Minister of Water Resources, Development and Management Samuel Sipepa Nkomo or relevant ministries to handover water to Gwanda.
“But because he failed to do this, it’s high time we applied to the President (Mugabe) for help,” said DeNecker.
But, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said it was not the PM’s responsibility to address Gwanda’s water problems.
“There is a fully-fledged water ministry that is responsible for that,” said Tamborinyoka.
Nkomo said Zinwa would not be forced to hand over the water reticulation system to Gwanda.
“They (Gwanda municipality) are not ready to be responsible and there is no way they will be given the responsibility over water.” he said.