WATER shortages in Gwanda like a cancer are spreading over Matebeleland South with Beitbridge town recently falling victim to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s exorbitant (ZINWA) prepaid water.
This came to light on Thursday at the National Assembly when Matebeleland South parliamentarian Honourable Sipho Mokone lamented how the water crisis was getting out of control as Gwanda is now in its second week.
On March 3, 2022, the legislator raised the issue before Parliament and maintains Gwanda due to the over priced precious commodity is still without water. Hospitals particularly the Gwanda Provincial Hospital a referral facility for all districts hospitals.
“I am going to be very short. I rise as a follow up to the issue I raised last week on the 3rd of March pertaining to the Gwanda water crisis and Beitbridge has the same problem. Madam Speaker has advised me to make a written question last week so that the Hon. Minister can respond but yesterday he did not come. The issue has been on the Order Paper since the 2nd of March and I actually see this issue as a serious issue that needs to be addressed with urgency,” she said in Parliament. Beitbridge being a border town, an entry point for many travelling to and fro South Africa with Gwanda being the provincial town, Hon Mokone said they should not be deprived of water.
” I therefore plead with your office to make sure that this issue is solved with the urgency that it deserves. Both towns, including those in Matabeleland South cannot afford to go without water. I thank you,” she said.
Explaining the tiff, she told this reporter that the towns currently rely on Zinwa for water. “What has happened is that Zinwa is reluctant to handover with the plants. It has installed prepaid water meters in Beitbridge, Gwanda and other towns whereby the councils have to by water from Zinwa. If the councils do not have enough money to buy water, there will be no water because they supply water to their towns,” she said.
The councils say they do not have the amounts required to pay Zinwa for water. Their position is they want the plants.
“For Gwanda, the Ministry resposible for water issues resolved that the Municipality were ably ready to run the water plant. Beitbridge to the Ministry was not ready. So now for Gwanda, the main concern is when is Zinwa going to hand over the water plant,” Hon Mokone said.
Speaker of Parliament Hon. Jacob Mudenda said, “Thank you very much Hon. Mokone, we will take the necessary steps to make sure that the Minister responsible addresses the question and it is disposed of expeditiously.”