Van­dal­ism costs Kwekwe thou­sands

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Love­more Zi­gara Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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