Beitbridge & Gwanda municipalities take over water administration from ZINWA

By Providence Maranela

THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has handed over the water supply mandate to the Municipalities of Beitbridge and Gwanda as authorities press forward with the devolution agenda by decentralising service delivery.

The blame game between ZINWA and the Municipality of Beitbridge is over after government intervention which has seen the two warring parties being urged to prioritise service delivery.

Speaking during the handover takeover meeting held in Beitbridge this Thursday, the two institutions pledged to focus on ensuring consistent and reliable supply of the precious liquid.

“As we hand over the reins to Municipality of Beitbridge, we gave them a start-up relief of one month of treatment chemical as they prepare for the new task,” said Takudza Makwangudze, ZINWA Acting Chief Executive Officer.

“This is a milestone for the Municipality of Beitbridge, we are confident that we will be able to improve service delivery to our communities,” said Councillor Munyaradzi Chitsunge, Beitbridge Mayor.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka described the development as an exciting turning point that will not only improve service delivery, but allow communities to run their own affairs.

“This is devolution in practice. We are re-defining the roles of ZINWA to ensure it becomes a technical backstopping mechanism for water supply. It reverts to become government water engineer.”

In addition to human capital, ZINWA also handed over a water pumping plant with capacity of propelling 2 160 cubic meters of water per hour.

The development means that the long standing impasse between the Municipality of Gwanda and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority has ended after government intervened and ordered ZINWA to handover the administration of water to the local authority.

“We are glad to be part of this historical event and we hope and pray that it will bring better services to our people, who were always suffering because the municipality and ZINWA were fighting,” said Njabulo Ncube Gwanda Mayor.

“Remember to price the water fairly, so that the generality of the public continues to use it. I wish to remind you that water is potential risk and governance of this liquid should be inclusive,” said Honourable Abedinico Ncube, the Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution.

Meanwhile, ZINWA has offered a one-month cover of water treatment chemicals to ensure a smooth transition.