Residents take Masvingo to High Court over persistent water cuts

MASVINGO residents have filed an urgent High Court chamber application seeking that Masvingo City Council ends a week-long water shortage and ensure that the more than 100 000 inhabitants have normal supplies.

By Tatenda Chitagu

The applicant, Anoziva Muguti, director of the Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers’ Alliance (Murra), in his application filed on Thursday, said by failing to provide water, which is a basic human right to the residents, the council had fallen foul of the Constitution, which guarantees such rights.

Masvingo City Council is the respondent in the application for the interdict.

“The constitutional rights of the applicants and all those on whose behalf they bring this application, are under imminent threat as a direct result of the actions and inactions of the respondent,” the application read.

“Specifically, in that the respondent threatens and continues to threaten not to supply water to the residents, for it is now seven days without supply of running water to the residents of Masvingo.

“The respondent has failed to take action for the past seven days to restore water supply to the residents of Masvingo. The applicants aver that the continuation of the above actions and inactions will likely cause irreparable harm to the applicants and all those they represent and, therefore, seek an interim mandatory interdict compelling the respondent to supply water to its residents.”

Philip Shumba of Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners, is representing Murra.

Since 22 August, taps have been dry in the entire city, leaving residents turning to unsafe water sources as the few boreholes drilled by non-governmental organisations are overwhelmed, while some of the borehole water is contaminated.

The council has attributed the shortages to two broken down pumping machines, which they say may take some weeks to repair, as some of the parts have to be imported.

Currently, one pump is functional and the pumping capacity is below 50%, the local authority said.


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