Zimbabwe: Council Suspends 3 Water Engineers

22 January 2020

Harare City Council has suspended three senior water engineers on allegations of gross indiscipline as it moves to align its service delivery mandate.

Engineers Simon Muserere (waste water), Richard Kunyadini (distribution) and Artwell Ruhukwa (water production) were suspended without benefits.

Chief chemist Mr Teddy Mafuko was also suspended.

Harare City Council corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme confirmed the development.

"The four face allegations of misconduct in the performance of their duties. According to letters written to the four, their charges border on incompetency, inefficiency, habitual and substantial neglect of duties arising from inaction.

"They are expected to appear before a hearing within the next 14 days. In the meantime they have been asked to surrender all council equipment in their possession," he said.

The suspensions come at a time council is failing to provide clean water because of shortage of chemicals.

Parts of Greencroft, Sherwood Park and Mabelreign have gone for almost a decade without water.

Residents said they started facing water problems in 2005 when the pumps which supply water in the area were reportedly taken to Bulawayo for repairs.

They said since then, water was supplied once or twice a week until 2008 when supplies stopped.

At least 65 houses in Sentosa area which are on Ruth Close, Trafalgar Road, Jansen Road, Takely Drive and some parts of Ridgeview have been affected.

Mabvuku and Tafara residents have spent close to 20 years without council tap water.

In September last year, after council announced a complete shutdown of the Morton Jaffray Water Works plant, Government channelled an additional $42 million to the Harare City Council to enable it to procure water treatment chemicals as part of interim measures to deal with the capital's water woes.

The funds, which were an addition to the $37,4 million released by Treasury for water infrastructure projects, were hived off the kitty reserved for devolution projects in Harare.

Of the allocation, $32 million was reportedly used to settle the debt owed to Chemplex Corporation, the city's major supplier of water treatment chemicals, while the remainder was used to replace old pipes.

It was estimated that City of Harare was losing 60 percent of treated water to leaks.

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