ZimPhos faces disconnection over water debt

HARARE - Mining and industrial chemicals manufacturing firm, Zimbabwe Phosphate Industries (ZimPhos) risks having its water supplies cut off by the Harare City Council (HCC) over an outstanding water bill dating back four years ago.

According to audit committee minutes, HCC officials were concerned with ZimPhos’ failure to pay for water extracted from Cleveland Dam.

ZimPhos, which manufactures phosphate fertilisers, is a subsidiary of Chemplex Corporation which is wholly owned by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a State-owned parastatal.

ZimPhos is one of HCC’s major suppliers of aluminium sulphate, one of the seven water treatment chemicals used by council.

“The finance director (Tendai Kwenda) reported that they were not paying and had written to the acting chamber secretary (Charles Kandemiiri) to re-engage them with a view to encouraging them to pay for the water.

“The acting chamber secretary reported that he would instruct them to stop extracting water from the dam until negotiations had been finalised,” read the minutes.

Kwenda told the Daily News the ZimPhos issue was exposed through an external audit.

“In my engagement with the auditor, they said there was nothing showing ZimPhos was paying.

“In my investigations, I noticed that council might have had an agreement with ZimPhos but it was not written anywhere. The company has not been paying council since 2012,” Kwenda said.

“As a way to move forward with the issue, Harare Water will have to find out how much water was extracted. From there we will know on which tariff we will charge them.”

Contacted for comment on the matter, ZimPhos declined to comment on the issue.

ZimPhos is also plagued by garnishee orders from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and National Social Security Authority for failure to remit taxes and subscriptions.

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