Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has threatened to cut off water supplies to Beitbridge town over a $205 million debt.
Under the current set up, Zinwa sells water to the municipality which then sells to the residents after putting its own mark-up.
The two entities have been tussling over the control of the town’s water management without any solution in the last seven years.
Zinwa’s uMzingwane catchment area manager Engineer Farai Manzira has since given notice to the municipality of the intentions to cut off supplies.
“This letter serves as a notice of disconnection of water services as a result of non-payment of water bills amounting to $205, 184, 024, 00 as at 20 July,” said Eng Manzira.
“The authority is incurring huge chemical and electricity bills in the process of supplying water to the town council. Should the Beitbridge town council fail to make a substantial payment within the next five days of receipt of this notice, Zinwa shall terminate the services without further notice.”
Beitbridge town clerk Mr Loud Ramakgapola confirmed receiving the notice from Zinwa, and said the local authority will engage the management at Zinwa over the issue.
He said the council’s revenue inflow had been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since most of the ratepayers were unable to fully service their bills.
“This is a hectic period brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mr Ramakgapola. “You will note that most of the ratepayers rely on cross-border related income-generating projects.
“Presently, things are not well in that sector and hence we are collecting low revenue. So, we are engaging Zinwa to see how best we can address this challenge.”