Gwanda municipality discharging raw sewage into Mtshabezi River

By Providence Maraneli

RESIDENTS of Gwanda have sent a distress call in the wake of revelations that the local authority is discharging raw sewage into Mtshabezi River.

When one hears the name Manziamnyama you will be forgiven to think it is a celebrated name, but it is quite the opposite as it emanates from a stream that is always flooded with raw sewage.

What is even more depressing is that Mtshabezi River is the main water source for the mining town of Gwanda.

“We grew up here and this stream is always flooded with raw sewage. The most distressing thing is the stream discharges directly to Mtshabezi river and the town gets the water from the same river. Yes they might say it’s not directly into the dam, but what about people down the river,” said a resident.

“This is negligence, we have sewage flowing every day, yet we have council collecting money from us. Imagine years and years of sewage flowing into the river that is being used by people,” said another Gwanda resident.

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has since opened a legal case against the local authority.

“We took the local authority to court in 2019 and they promised to look into the issue of raw sewage discharging into the one of the biggest rivers in town and up now nothing has happened. In the first days they were giving excuses of power outages, but now it’s just negligence,” said Mr Descent Ndlovu EMA Matabeleland South Provincial Manager.

Efforts to get a comment from the Gwanda Municipality were fruitless as the Town Clerk, Ms Priscilla Nkala was not answering her phone although she had promised to give ZBC News an interview on Thursday.

Opposition run urban councils have been found wanting in terms of service delivery with most of them riddled by corruption which has seen some top officials being arrested.