KWEKWE and Redcliff have gone for two days without water after the Zimbabwe National Water Authority cut supplies over an $800 000 debt.
This is the second time in six months that the water authority has cut off supplies to the cities over unpaid debts.
Kwekwe mayor Matenda Madzoke confirmed the water cut which forced thousands of residents to scrounge for the precious liquid from shallow wells and unprotected weirs.
“We indeed owe Zinwa $800 000 and they closed the taps on us because of that debt. This is regardless of the meetings I had with the Local Government minister (Ignatius Chombo) and officials from the Ministry of Water. I understand that they have their own challenges with cashflow and they are struggling to pay their workers so in cutting us off they wanted to force us to pay,” he said.
Kwekwe, which gets its raw water from Sabakwe Dam, supplies its residents and Redcliff municipality which does not have its own water source.
Madzoke said his council was failing to meet its water debts to Zinwa because it was also owed over $10 million by Ziscosteel in outstanding water bills.
Zinwa corporate communications manager Marjorie Munyonga was not immediately available for comment, but officials at the Gweru office said they had received a directive to cut the water supplies.