Chitungwiza to cut Harare ties

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A special team appointed by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to run Chitungwiza Council has recommended the local authority must establish its own water reticulation system.

Chitungwiza currently gets its water from Harare, but has been constantly disconnected due to nonpayment of bills. The troubled dormitory town owes Harare
$8 million.

“We cannot have a situation where we rely on Harare for water forever,” said Fungai Mbetsa, chairman of the team, during a stakeholder meeting at Makoni shopping centre recently.

“We are working on a strategy to engage Zinwa, Harare and Chitungwiza engineers with a proposal to hand over the water system which supplies water to Chitungwiza.”

But Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said the proposal was only feasible in the long term.

“As things stand, Chitungwiza simply can’t afford to cut the umbilical cord with the City of Harare in terms of technical and material assistance,” he said.

“The requisite skills for Chitungwiza to sustain its own operations are conspicuously absent in a number of critical areas at both councillor and functionary levels.”

Chombo seconded the “resuscitation” team to Chitungwiza following reports of rampant corruption and poor service delivery.

To date, two senior officials have been arrested while two had their contracts terminated and another two suspended over graft charges.

These include town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa, housing director Jemina Gumbo, chamber secretary Omega Mugumbate and director of health Mike Simoyi, among others.