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Zinwa restores water to Hwange

Andile Tshuma

THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has restored water supplies to Hwange’s Mpumalanga suburb after the local authority settled its $1,9 million debt.

Residents went for more than a week without water as the water management authority resorted to punitive means to have its debt paid by the cash-strapped Hwange Local Board (HLB). 

HLB public relations officer Dumisani Nsingo confirmed the development to the Daily News yesterday.

“Zinwa reconnected water to the Empumalanga Phase 4 area on Tuesday last week after we paid what was due to them,” he said.

Nsingo said the council had resorted to alternative water sources during the shutdown in order to prevent disease outbreaks in the area.

“Prior to the reconnection, we were supplying water to the affected community using a bowser to enable residents to carry out their day-to-day chores as well as for consumption purposes,” he said. 

However, pained by the Zinwa action, Nsingo said they have also exerted pressure on residents to pay their outstanding bills.

“We were, however, forced to disconnect water supplies to defaulting ratepayers and residents as a way of forcing them to clear their debts. 

“Some haven’t paid for over a year and this also affects us to make prompt payments to Zinwa. Going forward we will continue to disconnect defaulters as a way of forcing them to pay up,” he said.

Nsingo said HLB was considering the introduction of smart metres to ensure residents pay for what they consume.

“We are also looking at an option of introducing smart metres, but a council resolution is needed first before we implement this,” he said.

In September last year, HLB was forced to take legal action against ratepayers to recover over $100 million in outstanding bills.

This was after the local authority had employed a number of measures, including door-to-door campaigns to recover unpaid bills, but to no avail.

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