MASVINGO – The heavily indebted Zimbabwe Government has failed to guarantee a $50 million Chinese loan meant to support Masvingo's water supplies expansion projects and this means that water woes will persist.
Masvingo Mayor Hubert Fidze told residents at a meeting organised by Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) in Rujeko that the local authority is yet to access the $50 million water augmentation loan pledged by a Chinese bank in 2013 because the Government failed to guarantee it.
Fidze said the Government owes several institutions and countries billions of dollars in debt and is therefore unable to guarantee the loan.
"We are currently in a tight situation with regards to the issues of supplying water consistently. Our system is old and cannot cater for the growing population hence we cannot supply water 24hours. We had hoped to end this challenge soon after securing the loan from China but we can't get it soon because the guarantee cannot be provided," said Fidze.
Thulani Ncube, a resident said the water that the City supplies is dirty.
"It pains so much that we drink dirty water every day of our lives. Council must do something to improve the quality of water that we receive as residents," Ncube demanded.
Speaking during the meeting Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance spokesperson, Godfrey Mtimba said, water is a basic human right and it is the duty of council to provide clean and safe water to residents.
"As Murra, we declare that council should not make residents suffer for the simple and silly reason that that they have not yet received Chinese loan or any form of external funding. Council must use the money that it collects from residents to fix water problems," Mtimba charged.
Masvingo is able to pump 24 mega litres per day which can only serve about 40 000 and yet the population in the oldest town has grown to about 100 000.