BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
RESIDENTS of Chiredzi Town, dogged by perennial water problems, will have to wait a little longer to quench their thirst as former Chiredzi West legislator, Darlington Chiwa and the incumbent Farai Musikavanhu fight over bush pumps earmarked to ease water woes in three most affected wards.
Chiwa claimed that during his tenure he used his allocation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to contract Chapeta Drilling Company to drill four boreholes in areas facing serious water problems around Tshovani suburb. He further said during the process he lost track of the whereabouts of the pumps to enable the company to complete installation, forcing him to temporarily shelve the project.
“I am supposed to make my acquittals of the CDF to Parliament in order to receive my outstanding perks so I was expected to account for the pumps. That prompted me to make my own investigations. I had to use my experience as a former detective to trace the pumps to Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) in Triangle after I got wind that Musikavanhu was receiving pumps from (Zinwa).
“When I confronted Zinwa manager he said Musikavanhu was the rightful person to collect the pumps. I was surprised how Zinwa got involved because they have nothing to do with those pumps since I had contracted a private player. If I had not intercepted the pumps; chances were high that there was going to be a duplication of a project which was completely funded by the eighth Parliament.
“That would have created a leeway for misappropriation of government funds availed through the current CDF being chaired by Musikavanhu, on the pretext that there are new boreholes that are being sunk. If the previous project and the current one are reconciled – it’s a fact that sitting Zanu PF MP is about to steal CDF funds on false pretences,” said Chiwa.
Musikavanhu, however, said he was invited by Zinwa to help with the installation logistics, but failed to explain why they extended the invitation.
“Well, I was invited by Zinwa as the responsible authority to help them with logistics of installing the pumps so there was never a question of me having to check with Chiwa. I am not sure where that is coming from because I met with Chiwa earlier in the week when we were installing the bush pump for the ward 5 borehole and there was no misunderstanding whatsoever,” he said.
Zinwa southern region manager, Peter Shotere, said he was not aware of who was supposed to receive the pumps since his bosses had not given him directives on the consignment. Asked how he ended up giving the pumps to Musikavanhu when he was not aware who drilled the boreholes, he said: “I wasn’t aware who was supposed to get the pumps because I was not told. I thought the pumps were availed during command water. I am not aware who drilled the boreholes I just thought Musikavanhu was supposed to get the pumps.”