By Staff Reporter
KWEKWE: Residents in parts of the W-squares and V-squares, Amaveni have threatened civic obedience as they continue to pay for water that they do not have, this publication can reveal.
A survey conducted by this publication revealed that residents in W-squares and V-squares have gone for a long period without water yet they are still paying the city council for water services that they do not receive.
“Tave nenguva refutisina mvura, mvura yekumwa tinoita yekunochera kumaraini. Yekushandisa muchimbuzu tinongotsvakawo patinenge tawana. Nguva yekunaya kwemvura zvaive nani nekuti taicheredza inenge ichinaya zvino parizvino hatina kana kwekuiwana. Chinoshamisa ndechekuti tisina mvura kudaro city council inotitumira zvipepa zvemvura mwedzi woga woga asi mvura yacho hatina (what is surprising is that the Kwekwe City Council continue to charge us for the water that we never use. We have to go to our neighbors to ask for water. During the rain season it was better because we used rain water but now being able to get water has become a challenge yet we continue to pay for the services we don’t receive,” said a woman identified as Mai Karenyi of V-squares.
An eight-year-old boy who cannot be named for ethical reasons told this reporter that he wake up early everyday to fetch water before he go to school.
“Each morning I have to look for water so that I don’t burden my grandmother who is not feeling well at home. My parents passed on in accident some years back so I live with my grandmother and my young brother who is five years. So I have to be there for both of them. There is water crisis here at W-squares, it has been like this for almost a year now. So before I go to school I have to fetch water earlier and when I knock off from school I also have to come and fetch water again. There is nothing we can do about it, we don’t know when it is going to be fixed but currently it’s a struggle,” said the boy.
Water is a basic right as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Even the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6) states that states should “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” Even Section 77(a) in the constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the Human right to water. It is for this reason that analyst Robert Nhari who is also a resident at the W-sqaures has argued that denying people the right to water is denying human existence. He also stated that the city council should fulfill its obligation of providing all services to the people.
“Residents are denied the services that they talk about, because when we are denied water it means they are denying human existence. Why should we have changes that are beyond reach yet in true sense there is no water? Do they have heart for people, I wonder? If they had they should make a follow-up to anything we submit to them, so that they know our existence. But in case I don’t see them having an interest. And to make matters worse the increment of the rates is so unbecoming to justify the increment they must do the services, lights must be fixed water, everyone in Amaveni must have water. W-squares must have water, V-squares should also have water and some places as well.
“But without water they continue to estimate. When they talk of estimation I don’t know whether they make a thorough analysis of the place. If they make thorough analysis the estimation should be known and that when water is running then they can use estimation. But if there is no water, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s as good as stealing other people’s money. So what we want here is that they must make a good research. Otherwise most people are not going to pay the increase that they are talking about. If the water was running I don’t see any reason why would be complaining. We are complaining because there is no water. We need what they say to be fulfilled,” said Nhari.
“… I am thinking that we might stage up a civic disobedience because this is unfair, you pay water when the water is not there. The streets are full of dongers (potholes), the street lights are not there, they have become shelter for birds. The services are not there. The council must learn to practice sot of democracy because ate the moment they dictate the pace. Even if you cry out and say we want this rectified they don’t come out. For instance, I have approached them many times to rectify the pipes that are denying us water. But at their places there is water daily. God blessed us with the rains this year, talk of Dutchman’s Pool it is a t a capacity, talk of Sebakwe it is at a capacity, so why are we denied water, why? The council no longer have people at heart. So we did not practice civic obedience previously but we are going to initiate it so that they can understand,” said Nhari.
Efforts to speak to Kwekwe Town Clerk Lucia Mkandla were fruitless as her phone went answered. However, the Residents and Rate payers’ Association Secretary General Alex Homela stated that