Coun­cil, Zinwa clash

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Midlands & North-West News - Free­dom Mu­panedemo

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.

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