ACCESS to water during the COVID-19-era must not be negotiable. Water has always been a human right, which should not be denied any Zimbabwean. But during the pandemic, if the country is to win the fight against the respiratory disease, which requires regular hand washing as a preventive measure, authorities should ensure its constant availability.
We say this because the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) recently embarked on a countrywide water disconnection spree depriving innocent residents of towns such as Gwanda and Beitbridge of the precious liquid at their hour of need. What madness, coming from people we view as being enlightened enough to comprehend the dire consequences of their actions.
Beitbridge is an important port of entry into the country, which was highlighted by government’s efforts to ensure it attained herd immunity to curb the spread of the global novel virus. Then a nonentity at Zinwa arbitrarily decides to undermine central government’s efforts in the name of recovering debts.
One wonders if government arms are co-ordinating their efforts towards the eradication of the vicious virus which has wreaked havoc the world over resulting in 4,2 million deaths and 198 million cases with Zimbabwe losing 3 583 lives and recording 109 546 cases as of Sunday. If these figures are not alarming enough to send shivers down the spines of Zinwa officials, what will?
We don’t deny that Zinwa’s debtors owe it millions and we urge them to honour their obligations, but disconnecting water during a disaster of the magnitude of COVID-19 is the worst display of rank ignorance which is not expected of the authority.
We urge government to probe Zinwa to establish the person behind the directive to cut water at a time when the country is under the grip of the monstrous virus and ensure appropriate action is taken against such an individual because such blunders should not be allowed to recur.