Govt dithering blamed for Kunzvi dam delay

Government dithering has stalled the construction of Kunzvi dam, which is desperately needed to alleviate the city’s water problems.

Briefing residents on the city’s water situation, Councillor Wellington Chikombo of Glen Norah told residents donors were ready to help.

“Morton Jeffery Water Works in Norton provides Harare with water but also caters for a host of other satellite towns like Norton itself, Chitungwiza with an estimated population of 1.5 million people, Ruwa and other sprouting settlements within the city’s environs,” said Chikombo.

Originally Morton was built to cater for around a million residents – but now Harare alone has an estimated population of 3 million.

“Council has convinced some friends to help us construct Kunzvi dam. But because central government has sole rights to water through the Ministry of Water they have been sitting on our papers.

“Everything is in place. Government just has to give the signal and construction will begin. Although I cannot give names and figures this is the reality,” said Chikombo

His assertions where supported by local legislator Gift Dzirutwe, who complained that the executive was “so arrogant”.

“I sit on the local government portfolio committee and we have tried to get ministers to account for a lot of things – but they just brush us aside. We will continue to try. I just want you to appreciate the problems we face as your representatives. We all thought we should be more powerful because we represent you but alas there is power from some other place,” said Dzirutwe to applause from residents.

Water affairs Minister Samuel SiphephaNkomo denied council had ever approached his office.

“I have not received those papers if really they have donors who are ready to bankroll the construction then they should give me the papers as a matter of urgency,” Nkomo said in an interview.

Harare has been in the throes of disease outbreaks from cholera to typhoid and thousands have lost their lives in the process blamed on an acute water shortage since the days of Solomon Tawengwa.

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