BY REX MPHISA
THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) yesterday went on a nationwide water cutting exercise to press for the recovery of $2,4 billion owed by its customers.
Zinwa spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga said no one would be spared in the latest blitz as the organisation mobilises financial resources to buy water treatment chemicals.
Yesterday, Zinwa had already cut supplies to Gwanda, and Beitbridge, home to one of sub-Saharan Africa’s busiest border posts, was next in line.
“We are not sparing anyone. The ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army), ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police), ZPCS (Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services)and several government departments and several local authorities will have their supplies cut,” Munyonga said.
“We are aware of what impact this will have, but we were left with no choice. We are unable to operate. We cannot pay for our electricity, we cannot buy water treatment chemicals.”
The development comes as the country is fighting a deadly third wave of the virulent COVID-19 respiratory disease, which requires that citizens regularly wash their hands with running water.
“There is nothing we can do about it. We are also on the verge of being cut off by Zesa. We also owe some $200 million,” the Zinwa spokesperson said.
Beitbridge town clerk Loud Ramakgapola (pictured) said the border town owed Zinwa $205 million and it had received warnings from the water authority.
Reports said Gwanda owed Zinwa $193 million.
Gwanda and Beitbridge have been trying in vain to be weaned from Zinwa in their water supplies. Most cities in the country run their water affairs.
Many Beitbridge residents, hit hard by the latest COVID-19 wave, yesterday expressed displeasure at the latest development.
They urged the Finance ministry to intervene.
“Everyone knows local authorities inherited this problem from a celebratory stunt by then Local Government, Public Works and National Housing minister Ignatius Chombo, who cancelled all water bills for ratepayers, but did not effect that at Zinwa,” said Granger Nyoni of Beitbridge.
Ahead of the 2013 general elections, Chombo cancelled water bills to residents, leaving local authorities on the brink of bankruptcy.
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