Zinwa mum on Mtshabezi tariffs

BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) is yet to disclose its charges to Bulawayo City Council ever since the local authority started drawing water from Mtshabezi Dam last year.

Initially, the parastatal, which is in charge of bulk water, had indicated it would not charge council during what it termed a trial period until electricity was connected to pump water from the dam.

From January last year when Mtshabezi Dam was connected to the main reticulation network, diesel-powered generators were being used until September when electricity was installed.

Council draws about 17 000 cubic metres from the dam daily, regarded as the medium-term solution to the city’s perennial water problems.

Speaking to the Daily News during a tour of supply dams last Friday, Bulawayo City Council deputy director for engineering services, Ian Mthunzi said council is in the dark as to when Zinwa will pronounce the billing system for the dam.

“We are still waiting to hear from them (Zinwa). They had promised to give us the tariffs as soon as Zesa had connected power to the dam but up until now they have not given us the tariffs,” Mthunzi said.

The fear among councillors is that since the council had been drawing water free of charge from the dam for more than a year now, Zinwa may decide to introduce a higher figure which may be backdated.

The parastatal sells bulk water to the local authorities who are then tasked with purifying and distributing it “We are not even sure of the rate they are going to charge us but the last provisional figures we saw was 30 cents per cubic metre,” he said.

Mthunzi however, said if Zinwa passes the rates, they will sit down as council and see if they will be acceptable.

“We are going to see how the rates will be like. If they are too high we will obviously engage them (Zinwa) or appeal to the government to get the matter settled,” he said.

Asked if council will pass on the costs to residents in case of a tariff hike Mthunzi said: “That will depend, because we will have to see the best way forward without actually burdening the residents.”

Efforts to get a comment from the Zinwa chief executive Albert Muyambo were unsuccessful.

During the tour, it emerged that pumping water from the dam had been temporarily suspended due to a breakdown on the pumping equipment.

Although Mthunzi could not be drawn into revealing the nature of the breakdown or when pumping was expected to resume, he said Zinwa was working on it.

Comments (1)

You will not get a comment from the Zinwa chief executive Albert Muyambo because he is busy covering his dirty work.The ZBC,PSMAS thing is catching him very soon.Workers are now destitutes ivo wachidya ziya reruzhinji naKweza

Oriental spot Inn - 28 January 2014

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