HomeLocal News‘Water poisoning saga, a case of sour grapes’

‘Water poisoning saga, a case of sour grapes’

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Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda on Tuesday said the water poisoning saga that has been raging for the last two weeks could be a case of sour grapes on the part of the companies that lost a multi-million dollar tender to supply purification chemicals.

Masunda, who has been out of the country since the saga began, said he would not rule out a sinister motive aimed at disqualifying the current supplier of water chemicals, businessman Alex Mashamhanda, and take over from him the supply of the water chemicals to council.

The Harare mayor said there was stiff competition for the water tenders.

“We can’t rule out the possibility of a sinister motive behind the whole thing to disqualify our suppliers. The issue is we just want to be able to purchase goods from reliable suppliers with the capacity to deliver,” Masunda said.

“The sodium cyanide saga has been blown completely out of whack. There was no risk to life or limb to the 4,5 million unsuspecting stakeholders in Harare, Norton, Ruwa and Epworth to whom we are responsible for supplying potable water. We should all refrain from making speculative and often malicious comments, and wait for the outcome of the due process of the law which has been set in motion. In any event, the matter is sub judice which makes it even more imperative for all of us to bite our tongues lest we say anything that could prejudice the outcome of the criminal trial that is currently underway.”
He said considering the rigorous

security checks, there was no room for a slip-up.
The mayor said in the absence of any evidence of negligence, Harare would not abandon the current supplier and urged former suppliers, especially Chemplex Corporation, who were crying foul to professionally engage the local authority with their grievances.

Chemplex chief executive Misheck Kachere last week claimed that council was unwilling to take advantage of its expertise and capacity in supplying water treatment chemicals.

The company also accused council of preferring to pay importers high prices for the chemicals.
But Masunda said:

“We have an obligation not to drive them out of business. They are a very critical player. What I did not appreciate is for them to buy acres of space in the media to issue a statement to make a mountain out of a molehill and benefit out of an obvious mistake.”

He added: “I met (Chemplex chief executive) Misheck Kachere accompanied by Tapiwa Mashingaidze, Zimphos general manager, and I told them to make peace with (Harare Water Engineer) Christopher Zvobgo and his team to resolve problems very quickly.”

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