EASTERN NEWS | Mutare, Mutasa in water row

MUTARE - An acrimonious fight has erupted between Mutare City Council and Mutasa Rural District Council over a $2 million debt which saw the former closing the tap on Penhalonga and Tsvingwe suburbs for four days.

Water was only restored a day before Christmas.

Mutare mayor Blessing Tandi while not explicitly confirming that his council had shut down water supplies to force their counterparts to act on the ballooning debt acknowledged that they are owed about $2 million.

“There may be some obligations that they may not have been fulfilled leading to disruption of their water supplies.

“We supply them with treated water and we’re facing challenges in doing that and we expect them to also play their part,” Tandi told the Daily News.

Mutare draws its water from Pungwe River in Nyanga and Osborne Dam in Mutasa through a pipeline commonly referred to as the Pungwe Project.

The project commenced in the mid-1990s and was completed at the turn of the millennium and was valued at $1 billion through a loan of which the bulk came from Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), a Swedish government aid organisation.

As part of the arrangement Mutasa urban settlements of Tsvingwe and Penhalonga would also draw water from the pipeline and pay Mutare City.

Irate Tsvingwe residents slammed Mutare City Council for playing Russian roulette with their lives by placing them at risk of diseases as a bargaining strategy.

“It’s really sad that there are no ethics anymore in this country. How can local authorities use people’s lives as bargaining chips? 

“It’s been four days without water,” a Tsvingwe resident said before the connection was re-established.

Another resident said he wondered if four days of disconnection was proportionate.

“You wonder if this was the correct decision but clearly this is too risky and honestly I feel that the number of days were not proportionate to whatever issues are there between the two local authorities,” he said.

Rusape teacher runs amok

MUTARE - A Rusape school teacher spent Christmas behind bars after he smashed his mother’s dishes and kitchen door in a fit of rage after she stopped him from disciplining his child.

Blessing Dzemunyasi, 43 from Mutare was convicted on his own plea of guilty when he appeared before magistrate Tendai Mahwe.

His sentencing was, however, deferred after he said he may have snapped due to his history with mental illness.

Mahwe said he could only sentence Dzemunyasi after a complete psychological evaluation.

He will be sentenced tomorrow.

According to State papers, Dzemunyasi who is a teacher at Domborembizi Primary School in Rusape committed the offence on December 20 at around 1800 hours.

He tried to assault his nine-year-old child and his mother stopped him.

Dzemunyasi then went berserk and smashed his mother’s plastic dishes valued at $60 and kitchen door valued at $50.

Man assaults pregnant girlfriend

MUTARE - A 25-year-old Sakubva man has been slapped with a $200 fine for assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and her father for eloping to his house.

Blessing Mudziwepasi of Sakubva was convicted on his own plea of guilty by magistrate Tendai Mahwe.

He was being charged with physical abuse as defined in section 3(1) (a) as read with section 4(1) (a) of the Domestic Violence Act.

Mudziwepasi assaulted the two at his home.

Prosecuting, Matthew Chimutunga told the court how on August 9, 2018 Mudziwepasi’s then girlfriend Ndaizivei Muchapirei, 21, realised that she was pregnant with his child and eloped to him.

He had been out but found her home when he returned and bluntly denied responsibility.

Mudziwepasi ordered her to leave but she refused resulting in him attacking her by kicking her on the chest twice.

Being neighbours, Ndaizivei’s 50-year-old father got involved in the altercation and was also assaulted. They later reported to the police but Mudziwepasi was only recently arrested for the crime.

Granny, 66, axes rapist

MUTARE - A 44-year-old Zimunya man has been arraigned before the courts for raping a 66-year-old woman in a midnight raid at her home.

Adam Kamupira of Nyamhere Village was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Tendai Mahwe.

He was remanded in custody to January 4 and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

According to state papers, Kamupira went to the 66-year-old woman’s house on December 20 at 0300 hours and demanded that she opens the door.

She refused and he began to forcibly remove asbestos sheets that were used to cover her bedroom windows.

Realising that they would not keep him out, she grabbed an axe, opened the door and ran off.

Kamupira chased her down and grabbed her by the waist. She swung her axe and struck him on the forehead but could not stop him from raping her once.

He then fled into the darkness.

She made a police report leading to his arrest.

His forehead was swollen when he appeared before the magistrate.

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