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Zinwa hands over water system to Gwanda council

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Zinwa hands over water system to Gwanda council



GWANDA – The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has handed over the Gwanda water treatment plant to the local authority in compliance with a Government directive issued early this year.

Gwanda Mayor Njabulo Siziba confirmed the handover to the Two Nations. The event took place on Friday last week.

The directive was that Zinwa hand over the water reticulation system to Gwanda and Beitbridge councils by April 18, 2022. Gwanda and Beitbridge Town Councils owe Zinwa $ZWL270 million and $ZWL240 million in debts.

However, Siziba said water charges will remain high as the local authority still owes Zinwa money. To clear its debt, Gwanda will pay $ZWL18 million, per month to ZINWA. Gwanda has the most priced water at US$1.20, per cubic meter.

“When we lobbied for the handover of the water treatment plant, we had envisaged a drop in water charges because ZINWA was selling bulk water to us. However, I cannot announce that there will be a drop in water charges.

“A lot needs to be done, and we still need to know how much we will be paying to service providers before we decide on the charges. We will announce the tariff through a full council meeting,” said Siziba.

Gwanda Town Council treasurer Xolisani Dube said the municipality of Gwanda is reeling under a financial crisis with workers yet to receive their June salaries.

“Our employees’ salaries for June are still outstanding. We are owed over $ZWL400 million in unpaid water bills, and the Government departments are the major defaulters. We owe Zinwa almost $300 million, and we have to settle it as of the water reticulation handover agreement,” said Dube. 

The local authority also faces the mammoth task of rehabilitating the old water plant. Council also announced on Tuesday that a lift pump at the plant had broken down and was taken to Bulawayo for repairs plunging the mining town into a water crisis. 

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