The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has resumed regular water supplies to Gwanda town after the two parties met on Tuesday and mended their frosty relations.
Over the past three weeks, Zinwa only provided nine-hour supply of water to the town instead of the normal 18 hours, after the local authority contested the high charges.
In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Gwanda mayor Lionel DeNecker said the meeting held between the Gwanda council lawyers and Zinwa in Bulawayo resolved the authority should immediately start pumping water for the whole town for at least 18 hours a day.
“In the meeting we also agreed the people of Gwanda are more important and their livelihood is much more valuable than the need for money,” he said.
“By cutting off water supply to institutions like hospitals and the college, Zinwa was toying around with people’s lives, hence it was important that they immediately resumed pumping water for the required amount of time. I am glad they agreed to do so.
“There is need to come up with a better way of making people pay their water charges on time.
“The high rates of water in Gwanda make people resist paying on time. We still need Zinwa to reduce their charges so people can co-operate and pay on time.”
DeNecker said despite the positive development, Zinwa still had to explain to the people of Gwanda why they continue to charge high rates for water.
Zinwa catchment manager for Umzingwane, Tommy Rosen, confirmed Zinwa had come to an agreement with Gwanda municipality, but refused to comment further on the development.