THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has reportedly refused to restore water supplies to Binga Rural District Council until the local authority has paid at least $300 000 of its $1,5 million debt.
Zinwa cut off water supplies to Binga in September, forcing residents and business operators to turn to boreholes and other unsafe water sources.
Binga Residents Association vice-chairperson Samson Sibanda said Zinwa recently met council officials and indicated that it would restore water supplies after the local authority has paid at least $300 000 towards settling the bill.
“We met and agreed on the way forward for water to be reopened. Council is the one that owes Zinwa money and not the residents. For water to be reopened Zinwa said they require at least $300 000 from the council,” Sibanda said.
“Residents of Masoja area who are affected by the water cut started to protest and demonstrate saying they had been paying council and the issue has to be resolved immediately.”
Binga district development co-ordinator Farai Marinyame confirmed that stakeholders met on Wednesday to try to resolve the crisis.
“I was not on the ground, but there was a meeting between Zinwa, residents and the council to solve the ongoing water crisis. For now there is still no water as council is still negotiating with Zinwa so that they take that project,” Marinyame said.
“The main problem is that residents are not paying up.”
Binga RDC chief executive officer Joshua Muzamba said he was still out of Binga.
“I am still out of Binga, just look for those on the ground who can give you information,” he said.
Zinwa spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga, who previously pleaded with residents to pay up, yesterday said she was out of office and was yet to be briefed on the latest developments.