Chinhoyi council hits back after ZESA switches off water works

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

A STAND-OFF between the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and Chinhoyi municipality has threatened to trigger a water crisis after power was switched off at the council water treatment and pumping stations.

On Friday, ZESA cut electricity supplies to municipal water treatment and pump stations over a debt close to ZW$40 million.

In retaliation to the action, council reportedly dispatched a team to lock ZESA offices and disconnect water supply demanding $250 million arrears it is owed by the power utility in infrastructure rates.

Former mayor and Ward 12 councillor, Dyke Makumbi confirmed the matter which, he however said had since been resolved at a Friday late-night meeting between town clerk Maxwell Kaitano and ZESA officials.

“The stand-off has since been resolved. However, we are unhappy as councillors that issues get to a head without our involvement. Resolution to this requires that we strike a set-off deal so that ZESA cancels our debt and pays off the difference, simple,” said Makumbi.

Finance committee chairperson and Ward 11 councillor, Voster Mashevedzanwa said he, just like other councillors, was in the dark regards the impasse, saying management was withholding critical information which was tantamount to insubordination.

He said the embarrassing situation demanded a special council meeting to avoid a repeat.