THE Municipality of Kwekwe has dragged the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) to court following disconnection of its raw water supplies over a $1,5 million debt.
BY SILAS NKALA
The council filed its High Court challenge on May 17, citing Zinwa as the respondent.
In his founding affidavit, town clerk Emmanuel Ngwena Musara submitted that disconnection of water supplies over unpaid bills was outside the provisions of Zinwa Act Chapter 20:28 and the Constitution and, therefore, unlawful.
“The applicant is a tier of government and the respondent, as an institution or agent of government, should work together for the provision of water to the citizens,” Musara submitted.
“Our concern is that the respondent has, on a number of occasions, acted outside both the Constitution and its enabling legislation by partially or completely stopping water supply to the applicant. Such an act is not only outside the powers given to the respondents in terms of the law but also unconstitutional and unlawful. Such action is taken without being subjected to judicial determination.”
He added: “What is clear is that the respondent is mandated to ensure that there is availability of water to the citizens. My understanding is that the progressive realisation of the right is only subject to the availability of resources.
“What the respondent is doing is not based on the issue of availability of resources, but simply aimed at frustrating the constitutional mandate on both the national government, local authorities and institution/agents of government in ensuring the progressive realisation of the right to water.”
Musara said Zinwa had not been involved in the maintenance of the Sebakwe Dam for a long time and it had not carried out elementary maintenance work.
He said, as a result, it was now very expensive to treat water for the benefit of residents.
“This eventually affects the capacity of the applicant to pay respondent for the supply of raw water,” he submitted.
Zinwa is yet to respond to the application.