B/bridge residents demand govt intervention in Zinwa standoff

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BY REX MPHISA
BEITBRIDGE residents want the government to intervene in the standoff between their local authority and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) to ease water cuts in the border town.

The standoff is blamed for water shortages affecting an estimated 60 000 residents in the town.

Zinwa cut water supplies to Beitbridge Municipality over an outstanding debt of nearly $271 million dating back two decades.

Zinwa also owes the municipality $2 million dollars in unpaid rates.

Zinwa spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga said Zinwa would clear the debt in a few days.

“It’s (debt) for rates and water for Zinwa houses in Beitbridge occupied by our employees. But it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the $300 million owed by the council,” Munyonga said.

Beitbridge Municipality treasurer, Anymore Mbedzi said government departments owed the local authority $43 573 478, commercial defaulters $77 931 978,57, industry $50 815 144,97 and residents $100 million.

Town clerk Loud Ramagkapola when contacted for comment said the local authority would announce its position on the way forward today.

The current standoff has left residents fuming.

“The most frustrating thing is that even those who are compliant and are up to date with their bills are being punished. This is why we want the government to intervene,” said Alfred Moyo of Baobab suburb.

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