Zimbabwe News

Councils to receive water treatment chemicals from govt

GOVERNMENT will not disburse cash to local authorities, but will instead provide water treatment chemicals and equipment to aid in the provision of portable water, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said yesterday.

Ncube told journalists at a post-Cabinet briefing that government had already purchased water treatment chemicals and, therefore, would not be dolling out money to local authorities.

“This initiative to pay directly to the companies is to avoid bureaucracy in government because water chemicals are important and need to be supplied in earnest. City councils will receive chemicals and not the money,” Ncube said.

The Finance ministry last week announced a US$2,2 million fund to meet local authorities’ water treatment chemicals requirements.

This came after Harare City Council temporarily shut down Morton Jaffray Waterworks because it had run out of water purification chemicals. However, the government, in its briefing, lashed out at council.

“Of greater concern to Cabinet was that such a far-reaching decision was taken without prior consultations with central government. That notwithstanding, Cabinet endorsed the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee comprising the ministers of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing; Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement; Finance and Economic Development and the Harare City Council, to come up with strategies to conclusively resolve the Harare water supply challenges in the short, medium and long-term,” the Cabinet brief read.

Council has blamed the crisis on foreign currency shortages, an unstable interbank market, and failure by clients to pay over $1 billion owed in water bills and rates.

Government is one of the major council debtors, but Ncube said there were no scared cows, calling on council to collect all outstanding debts, even from the government.

“I do not have a definite figure, but everyone needs to clear their debts and that includes the government,” Ncube said.

In the long-term, the government said it will invest in the construction of Kunzvi Dam, which has been on the cards for decades.

Ncube said a contractor has since been identified and will start work on the project which could ultimately end Harare’s water woes.

“We already have a contractor for the Kunzvi Dam, but we are still working on the finances. I, however, cannot give timelines, but the implementation will be soon,” Lands and Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri said at the briefing.

Currently Harare relies on Lake Chivero which is now heavily polluted by industrial waste and untreated sewage which council dumps directly into the lake because it no longer has the capacity to treat raw sewerage produced daily.

In other news – Roki & Ishan to light up Jacaranda festival

It is a few days to go before the ultimate musical showcase in Harare roars to life. Slated for Hellenic Sports Club from October 4 to 5, the second edition of the Jacaranda Music Festival will this year have an interesting collaborative segment, which will feature some of Zimbabwe’s top voices in the urban music space.



Dubbed “Houz of Gruvz” the session slotted for the first night of the festival will be headlined by Roki and Ishan. After his emotionally laden performance at the Patoranking gig earlier this year, Ishan has not yet featured at any big events and fans have been longing to see the lad holding the song of the year crown in action. continue reading

Source: TheHerald

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