Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Owen Ncube warned that local authorities involved in corrupt activities would be held accountable.
He issued the warning during a visit to the Gwenhoro water works in Gweru. The Herald cites him as saying:
Gweru has been facing water challenges for a long time. We want an action-oriented approach to service delivery. Those involved in shoddy deals involving taxpayers’ money must be brought to book as the Second Republic has no room for incompetency and corrupt activities.
In 2019, His Excellency, the President through the Ministry of Finance released US$455 000 advance devolution funds to the local authority to address the issue of old water infrastructure. l am, however, concerned that water shortages are still haunting residents.
I am rather disappointed that there is no improvement in terms of addressing water challenges. We need urgent intervention in the water problems. I am told you have been buying the wrong equipment which is now costing residents, and I want to make it clear that all those responsible must be taken to task.
The city of Gweru is facing severe water shortages and is only able to pump half the required amount of water per day due to the use of a single pump instead of the six purchased in 2019. The outdated water infrastructure and the city’s growing population have contributed to the ongoing water crisis, impacting the rights of residents to clean water and sanitation. The council has also faced criticism for prioritizing the purchase of luxury vehicles for executives.
Gweru City Council’s water engineer, Masauso Store, told the Minister that the local government authority purchased six water pumps, but only one is operational as the rest were damaged. He said the pumps were meant to provide a minimum of 66 megalitres of water, but due to incorrect installation, the motors burned out. Additionally, the council bought an inadequate transformer that did not meet the necessary specifications. The city engineers are currently replacing the old pumps to address the water supply issue.
Gweru Mayor Councillor Martin Chivhoko said that council employees were providing misinformation to cover up their shortcomings at the waterworks. He is cited as saying that load shedding was not the cause of water supply issues as there were no functioning pumps. Minister Ncube urged Mayor Chivhoko and the council management to urgently address the city’s water problems, emphasizing the need for time-framed action plans and accountability.
Source Pindula News