Resignations as Council probes illegal water connections

HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC) has launched a probe into illegal water connections, a move which has seen workers resigning in fear of being nabbed.

According to ordinary council minutes, the local authority placed bulk water meters in areas occupied by co-operatives, which are being illegally diverted to private premises, allegedly by HCC workers.

The resignations come as those found guilty have been hauled before disciplinary hearings and being fired for the crimes.

“The acting town clerk, Hosea Chisango reported that procurement of prepaid bulk water meters was at an advanced stage at the State Procurement Board as a way of making the cooperatives pay. The director of Harare water had disconnected most of the illegal connections. Concern was further raised that the illegal connections were done by council officials and disciplinary action needed to be taken against the culprits,” read part of the minutes.

Chisango told council that action had been taken against those who were implicated in connections at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Housing Cooperative. He said while “some employees were found guilty, others were acquitted and some resorted to resigning”.

Currently, the city is losing 65 percent of its treated water through, among other things, illegal water connections and malfunctioning meters.

Harare requires $178 million to fund its water pipe replacement and network rehabilitation exercise to avoid losses due to burst pipes and illegal connections.

Once completed, the refurbishment and pipe replacement would reduce physical water losses by 72 million litres per day, increase supply coverage to 72 000 households, reduce nonrevenue water by 25 percent and increase revenue by about $21,6 million per year.

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