Vandalism costs Kwekwe thousands
KWEKWE City Council has lost water and sanitation infrastructure worth nearly $500 000 to theft and vandalism.
The city’s mayor, Councillor Matenda Madzoke, said vandalism is mainly caused by illegal gold miners who block sewer lines to access water to process the mineral as well as peri-urban farmers who divert sewer water to their gardens.
“What I can tell you is that we have lost most of our infrastructure and property to theft and vandalism which could be in the region of around $500 000 this year alone,” he said.
“Some illegal gold panners are breaking sewer lines to process their gold. They break the lines and block them using huge stones and this has come at a cost for the local authority. Some peri-urban farmers have joined in the fray and they are diverting the same water for their market gardening projects.”
Clr Madzoke said they were encouraging residents to report acts of vandalism as they were proving to be costly to the municipality.
He said acts of vandalism have been more pronounced in the Globe and Phoenix area where there are a lot of illegal gold mining activities.
The Kwekwe mayor said market gardens are scattered along sewer lines which lead to Mbizo suburb.
Meanwhile, Clr Madzoke has warned schools not to drill boreholes without council’s approval as underground water is contaminated.
“The schools should ensure that they have portable water like council treated water or bottled water for consumption.
“We have had reports that some schools are drilling boreholes as a way of avoiding paying for council water but let me warn such schools that Kwekwe borehole water is not suitable for human consumption because it is highly contaminated,” said Clr Madzoke.
The gold mining town is owed over $15 million in unpaid rates and bills by residents.