Byo judge bars Zinwa from terminating Vumbachikwe Mine water supplies

BULAWAYO High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese has interdicted the Zimbabwe National Water Authority against terminating water supplies to Vumbachikwe Mine without a valid court order.

BY SILAS NKALA

Zinwa last year disconnected water supplies to Vumbachikwe Mine over non- payment of water bills before the mine filed an urgent chamber application challenging the move.

The company cited Zinwa and its employee, Timothy Kadyamusuma, as respondents, saying the disconnection was unlawful.

In his ruling, Justice Makonese said facts presented were that Zinwa cut water supplies to the mine well after its contract with Vumbachikwe Mine had expired.

“I must now determine whether the conduct of the respondents is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution. There is no dispute that the respondents are constitutionally bound to ensure that applicant’s constitutional rights to clean and [portable water is respected,” he said.

“The respondents’ action in disconnecting water supplies quite clearly in my view violates the applicant’s right to safe, portable and clean water. It is a basic principle of our legal system that the law should serve the public interest. It follows therefore that it is not in the public interest that an institution or agency of the government can deny its citizens water arbitrarily without recourse to the law and the courts,” Makonese ruled.

He then ordered Zinwa to reconnect water supplies to the mine and pay the legal costs.

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