Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Owen Ncube on Monday urged officials from Kwekwe and Redcliff town councils to close ranks over an outstanding water bill, which resulted in Kwekwe suspending water supplies to Redcliff.
Kwekwe City Council, which supplies water to Redcliff, recently suspended water supplies to the satellite town over an outstanding debt of $3 million. Kwekwe City Council is accusing Redcliff Town Council of not honouring its agreed payment plan.
Minister Ncube said the two local authorities should find common ground, as President Mnangagwa, who identifies with the two local authorities, was not happy with the tiff between them. He said President Mnangagwa phoned him and asked him to resolve the impasse.
“As you all are aware, the President is a resident of Kwekwe and he is not happy with what is happening in terms of water supplies,” said Minister Ncube.
“The President has told me to meet you so that you resolve your issues and find common ground. We cannot continue punishing residents. There has been erratic water supplies in Redcliff, and Kwekwe should supply water to the town.”
Minister Ncube urged Redcliff Town Council to honour its debt and start servicing it.
“Government has started paying Ziscosteel employees in batches and Redcliff should be seeing some change in terms of revenue collections, they should, therefore, start servicing its Kwekwe city water bill,” he said. Kwekwe Mayor Alderman Matenda Madzoke blamed Redcliff for not servicing their debt.
“At times we don’t have a choice, but to cut water supplies to Redcliff,” he said.
“Their bill has been $3 million and has not been serviced since February last year, but they continue to be crybabies. They should devise means to improve revenue collection. We cannot press Kwekwe residents to pay rates for us to supply water to Redcliff. They should also play ball.”
Clr Madzoke said they had no problem heeding Minister Ncube’s directive, as long as Redcliff played its part in servicing its water bill.
Redcliff mayor Councillor Freddy Kapuya said they had started servicing their bill and only last week they paid $7 000 to Kwekwe City towards the $3 million debt.