13 June 2017

Zimbabwe: Govt Appoints Beitbridge Water Commission

Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri has appointed a seven-member commission to look into Beitbridge Town Council's (BTC) capacity to take over management of the border town's water affairs from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (zinwa). The committee is chaired by the deputy director in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Mr Gilbert Maware.

It is expected to visit the border town between June 25 and 30.

Mr Maware has since written to BTC authorities notifying them of their intent to visit the town on a fact finding mission.

"This serves to advise that the Hon Minister of Environment, Water and Climate has appointed a seven member commission to undertake an inquiry on your capacity to take over water supply and waste water management system as per your request," he said.

"Attached please find copy of the appointment of the members and the terms of reference. Please, be further advised that we wish to visit your Town Council for the assignment as from 25 June 2017, and below is our proposed programme."

Mr Maware said the commission will hold joint meetings with local authority management, councillors, zinwa, catchment staff, and local resident associations.

It will also carry out an assessment of human resources, technical capacity and financial capacity and assess the billing system capacity.

The setting up of the commission follows a long standing dispute between zinwa and the town council, which has seen taps running dry in the border town.

zinwa says it is owed close to $12 million by the local authority, while the council argues it owes only $4 million.

The dispute has seen zinwa installing bulk prepaid water metres at the council's water distribution points and is also collecting a 30 percent interest on the debt.

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