Mvurwi residents engage Zinwa over disconnections

HARARE - Combined Mvurwi Residents Association (Comra) has engaged the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) over water disconnections.

A statement by the residents’ pressure group chairperson Emmanuel Nkambala, noted that water disconnections were not advisable in a period when the country is battling a serious cholera epidemic that has already claimed at least 31 lives in Harare alone.

The statement comes as many households and businesses in the mining and farming town have had arbitrary water disconnections and had their sole water source decommissioned after testing positive for bacterial contamination.

“Majority of shop owners and households had their water arbitrarily disconnected by Zinwa officials in Mvurwi.

“The move to reconnect water has enjoyed huge support from the local councillor who accompanied Comra to the Zinwa offices.

“Residents are paying $40 which is inclusive of $10 reconnection fee.

“Zinwa officials in Mvurwi are demanding payment equivalent to half the amount owed before they reconnect water,” Nkambala said.

“Zinwa officials arbitrarily disconnected water at the market place opposite the beer hall, six months ago.

“Citizens have nowhere to get water since the nearby borehole has been condemned.

“To date, 20 households have had their water reconnected after payment of half the amount of what is purportedly owed.”

He added that they had also engaged the Community Water Alliance for advocacy partnership, since Zinwa was using illegal means to force people to make payments.

Nkambala said Mvurwi council and Zinwa did not give them an alternative source of water after the decommissioning of the borehole and disconnections.

“We feel that Zinwa should confine itself to raw water issues while local authorities deal with the responsibility of potable water supply.

‘‘We have also opted to seek legal guidance and representation from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights against water disconnections,” Nkambala said.

Charles Magwenzi of Zinwa Mvurwi, said they were prepared to engage residents on the best way forward.

“We will sit down with all stakeholders involved and see how we can address the situation,” he said.

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