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Zinwa spoiling for uprising over water

THE Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) reiterates that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) must immediately cede to the municipality the responsibility of supplying and administering water in Harare because it has failed to provide the serv


No substantive benefits have accrued to local authorities in Zimbabwe since Zinwa came on board.

Persistent bickering between the City of Harare and Zinwa over accountability to residents in cases of quality of water, leakages, inadequate supplies and billing have put residents in an unnecessary dilemma.

The absence of a memorandum of understanding between the City of Harare and Zinwa is disastrous and is a corrupt business arrangement that CHRA rejects in total.

Residents cannot and will not be coerced to pay unreasonable, unjustified and unlawful water rates coming from a water body that is unaccountable to them but only to the government especially when Zinwa is cash-strapped.

Zinwa has proposed to increase water rates from the current $8 to $100 per cubic metre.

CHRA views Zinwa as a state project whose objective is to expand its feeding trough. Benefits only accrue to selected individuals and organisations whose allegiance is well known.

Percy Toriro, the city’s public relations manager, was quoted as saying: “It is important that as the two utilities involved, we should have a formal agreement in place to rationalise the relationship and apportion specific responsibilities to either party so that residents are not short-changed.”

But Willie Muringani, Zinwa’s board chairperson, said their main concern regarding water supplies was the pricing system.

Muringani was quoted as saying: “The right price will guarantee the continued existence of water delivery services. If we continue to make a loss because of the unrealistic prices, we will not be able to provide water.”

This is unpalatable given that Harare’s water system has not been efficient for years, electricity has been erratic and the tendering process has been questionable and corrupt.

An uprising by the residents of Harare is imminent if the current scenario persists where an unnecessary water body dictates how much we should pay in water rates. This can certainly attract a national outcry.

We demand that the City of Harare take full ownership of the capital’s water supply and administration before Zinwa triggers a residents uprising over water bills.

Precious Shumba,

CHRA information officer.

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