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Zinwa cuts off government departments over unpaid bills

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THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has disconnected water supplies to several government departments, local authorities and growth points as it seeks to recover ZW$2.1 billion in unpaid bills.

NHAU MANGIRAZI
Some of the amounts date back to the dollarisation era and were converted at US$1:ZW$1.

The disconnections have resulted in several police stations, government offices, courts, District Development Fund and district adminstrators’ offices, among others, going without water supplies. Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Marjorie Munyonga confirmed that the water authority is implementing a massive revenue collection blitz over unpaid bills, which are crippling its operations.

In a written response to The NewsHawks, Munyonga said: “Among the clients with outstanding bills are some government departments across the country. Various clients owe Zinwa a cumulative amount of ZW$2.1 billion in a development that has seriously affected the authority’s operations and ability to sustainably deliver services. Of these amounts owed, domestic clients account for ZW$234 663 126, schools ZW$36 473 529, local authorities ZW$426 813 080, government departments ZW$938 184 692, irrigators ZW$256 472 553, while agricultural estates owe ZW$18 888 953, and some parastatals owe Zinwa ZW$53 684 445.

“This operation covered areas like Makuti, Magunje, Karoi, Mhangura among others in Mashonaland West. We have done so in other areas like Mount Darwin, Murehwa, Mutoko, Maphisa and areas near Gwanda, Juru, Rishinga, Hwange, Wedza and Sadza among others nationally. We did this in all small towns and growth points that we supply water around the country. Any organisation or individual that owes Zinwa some money had the services cut off.”

In Karoi, some government departments including police stations, central government offices and magistrate courts had their water supplies cut off last week.

These include the Zimbabwe Republic Police officer commanding district offices in Karoi as well as Magunje Police Station.

Water supplies were also cut off at the district development coordinator’s office which houses the registrar’s office, labour, and District Development Fund, among others.

The water cuts are occurring at a time Zimbabwe, like other countries, is battling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most parastatals are struggling and are on the verge of collapse because of a failure to collect revenue, particularly from government departments, local authorities as well as politicians and politically connected persons.

Inter-parastatal debt is also high.

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