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Saboteurs empty Masvingo water tanks 

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Saboteurs empty Masvingo water tanks 




MASVINGO – Masvingo residents had to go for six days without water after suspected saboteurs emptied 25 mega-litres of treated water from the City’s two water reservoirs at the top of Target Kopje.

The tanks were emptied in November and the value of the precious liquid lost is estimated to run into thousands of United States dollars. Masvingo City Town Clerk, Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa referred questions to Chamber Secretary Vitalis Shonhai who confirmed the matter to The Mirror.

Several councilors also confirmed the incident and told The Mirror that armed guards have been deployed at the tanks.

Water and sewer works committee chairman, Councillor Sengerai Manyanga said investigations to find the culprits are underway and security has been beefed up at the water tanks.

It is not clear why saboteurs targeted the City water but there seems to be some former and current workers who are not happy with new management at the city and are determined to throw spanners into the works.

Sources said that current or former engineering department workers conversant with the City’s water works must have sneaked into the tanks on the night and opened valves thereby releasing the water. They managed to evade two guards at the waterworks and did their sabotage work.  The next morning floods of water were seen downhill running into roads and neighbouring suburbs.

After that the City Council is understood to have taken extreme precaution by filling up the tanks twice and cleaning it with treated water which they then emptied. When they were satisfied that there was no poisoning, they then started resupplying the city.

 The tanks which are the only water reservoirs for the city are understood to have a combined capacity of about 25 megalitres. The maximum price for domestic water is US$1,30 per cubic metre and water for commercial use is US$2. 27 per cubic metre. 

“I will have to check with the engineer to confirm if the culprit was identified. The engineer was handling the investigations since this falls under his portfolio. Council has beefed up security at the tanks to avoid such incidents in future,” said Manyanga.

A source said the tanks were manned by two unarmed municipal police officers and the number has been increased to eight armed officers.

Chairperson of the city Finance Committee and Ward nine Councillor, Babylon Beta could not give the actual value of the lost water when contacted for comment.

“I am in Gweru and cannot give you the figure. I have to communicate with the finance director first,” said Beta.

Water treatment chemicals are the most expensive components in the supply of treated water to cities and they are all imported. 

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