Bulawayo’s water challenges turned tragic with a 17-year-old boy from Nkulumane now facing murder charges for fatally stabbing his neighbour following a dispute at a borehole queue.
The teenager, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, will on Tuesday appear before the High Court facing murder charges.
He is represented by his lawyer, Marry Nyika of Macharaga law Chambers.
The tragic incident happened on August 31, 2022 when the teenager was involved in a quarrel with the now deceased, Tinashe Gweshe (22).
The misunderstanding was sparked by counter accusations of who had jumped the queue to fetch water at a borehole as the city’s water crisis deepened.
The misunderstanding led to a first fight, but they were restrained by onlookers.
At around 4pm, the teenager returned to the borehole and approached Gweshe where they resumed their argument.
He then stabbed Gweshe on the lower abdomen and ran away.
Gweshe was taken to Mpilo hospital for medical treatment where he died on September 2, 2022 after succumbing to the injuries.
Bulawayo faces severe water challenges with residents going for weeks without the precious liquid.
The water challenges have resulted in diarrhoea becoming endemic,
As of April, the city’s six supply dams were less than 59% full.
Indications are that Umzingwane Dam will be decommissioned in August due to low water levels.
At one time, former Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo had to desperately suggest that trains be hired to ferry water from the Zambezi River.
Government once touted the idea of pumping water from the heavily polluted Khami as a stop-gap measure, but there was resistance.
Khami dam was decommissioned in 1998 because of high levels of sewage and industrial waste.
The last dam to be built to support Bulawayo was completed in the 1970s.
The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP), a 1912 idea, is touted as the permanent solution to perennial water shortages facing Bulawayo and Matabeleland.