THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has “threatened” to disconnect Gwanda Municipality water supplies over an outstanding ZWL$1,3 debt.
In turn, Gwanda council has turned the heat on residents and ratepayers threatening to intensify water disconnections to recover more than ZWL$5,1 billion it is owed.
Mayor Thulani Moyo advised residents, ratepayers and stakeholders that Zinwa officials visited the council last week advising the local authority of their intention to shut down water supplies.
He said an appeal by council to delay the disconnections was rejected and the local authority has up to October 30 to pay the debt or be disconnected.
“The council has tried to reduce fixed water charges from US$10 to US$2,8, but you still want free supply which we cannot afford, it’s unworkable,” Moyo told consumers through social media group platforms.
“We have come as new councillors together with staff to correct the wrong bills so that we put transparency, but still you do not pay. We created a complaints desk, still there is nothing, you only complain on WhatsApp.
“Are we sure we do not want to own up our bills? I challenge all senior residents, landlords to take responsibility for your properties.”
Speaking to Southern Eye yesterday, Moyo said: “As a council, we purify water and give it to our stakeholders as part of our mandate. We bill them and expect everyone to own up by taking responsibility to pay for the precious liquid which is a right to everyone with cost.
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“We acquire chemicals, pay Zesa bill, labour, fuels and maintenance and pipe repairs, so that water rights go with cost as much as we try all means to make sure our stakeholders don’t spend more than four days without water.
“All our stakeholders owe us ZWL$5,1 billion. We will intensify disconnections to everyone who owes us. We have started while we are working out on a prepaid system. We owe Zinwa around ZWL$1,3 billion.”
Zinwa spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga, however, said Zinwa had not yet issued a notice to disconnect water to Gwanda.
“I am advised we have not issued any notice for disconnection to Gwanda. I am not sure where this is coming from. What I know is that we were following up on the August 2023 bill which the council has promised to pay. No notice to disconnect has been served,” Munyonga said.