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    Monday, 4 March 2019

    Beitbridge Council, Zinwa fight over water

    Beitbridge Town clerk Loud Ramakgapola.

    - Beitbridge Town Council has urged the Zimbabwe National Water Authority to surrender purification and supply of water services to the local authority if residents are to enjoy better services, The Mirror has gathered.
    There was a clash between the two during a meeting held in the border town last week when Zinwa offered to hand over the bulk water meter and the reservoirs to the town council minus the water purification plant.
    The Mirror is reliably informed that council is not happy with the arrangement and it demanded that Zinwa surrender the water purification plant to council as well.
    When contacted for a comment, Beitbridge Mayor, Morgan Ncube said Beitbridge is the only town in Zimbabwe whose water is still under Zinwa and this has resulted in a very expensive commodity to the residents. He said Zinwa should supply raw water to council and the local authority must do the rest, from purification to supplying the residents.
    He said that council will soon approach the relevant Ministry over the deadlock. Ncube accused Zinwa of failing to write-off a $12 million debt owed by the local authority as instructed by Government several years back.
    “Zinwa called for a meeting and they then offered to handover the bulk metre and the reservoirs to us without the purification plant. We have rejected this”, said Ncube.
    “When they called for the handover meeting, we expected them to handover the treatment plant so that they supply us with raw water and we treat it on our own and supply to residents. That way we are able to run our costs and charge less on water bills compared to what they are currently charging.
    “Water is very expensive in Beitbridge compared to other towns and we are one of the few local authorities in the country with water still under ZINWA. They are treating the water and supplying it to us and it’s more like the council is collecting revenue on their behalf for a commission, technically that’s what it means because all the money goes to them.
     “Devolution concept entails that at that level we should treat our own water and supply to residents. Currently we wait for water related problems to be addressed from ZINWA Bulawayo. We have the capacity to treat the water at affordable prices to our residents,” said Ncube.
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