Council, Zinwa clash
GWERU City Council is up in arms with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority over who bills the Midlands State University and Whawha Prisons.
ZINWA is billing and collecting revenue from the two institutions even though it is council that supplies them with purified water.
Council argues such an arrangement does not make sense.
Reports say zinwa is pocketing $6 000 monthly from MSU and Whawha.
Council sources who spoke to The Herald yesterday said the local authority was considering legal action against zinwa.
It has since engaged its lawyers after negotiations with zinwa failed.
“The council was now engaging lawyers to try and win a mandate to bill these two institutions because they consume water which is being pumped and treated by the council.
According to council, zinwa is just reaping where it did not sow and they should let these institutions pay council for the services,” said the source.
MSU is a major consumer of council treated water.
Gweru Town Clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza confirmed the developments.
“It is a matter we have handed over to our legal advisors. They are studying the papers. We are the ones pumping water. We are the ones treating the water that is then consumed by MSU and WhaWha, but we get nothing out of it. zinwa is billing these institutions and collecting revenue,” she said.
zinwa’s Sanyati catchment area manager, Mr Felix Bvazuri, said the water authority was mandated to charge the MSU and WhaWha.
“We are a Government arm and mandated with powers to bill institutions that are not under the jurisdiction of local authorities unless those institutions have the capacity to pump water for themselves.
“In this case, we are supplying MSU, WhaWha and Fletcher High School and we have the authority to charge them,” he said.
Mr Bvazuri acknowledged that Gweru City Council was responsible for the pumping and treating of water consumed by the institutions.
He said Gweru City Council entered into an agreement with zinwa to pump water from its two supply dams -Gwenoro and Mapungubwe.
“In return, Gweru City Council gives us some treated water which we will then supply to those institutions under our jurisdiction. It’s as simple as that,” he said.