Zvishavane residents have called on the government to dismiss the entire local council after it delivered dirty water to residents for a whole week following theft of millions of dollars meant for water treatment chemicals.
Zvishavane residents and ratepayers association chairman Peter Mudzviti told journalists that the body had started gathering signatures for a petition to be presented to Midlands provincial minister Jason Machaya next week.
“This council has failed and they must be relieved of their duties,” Mudzviti said. “We must find other people to work with.”
The association urged residents not to pay for the dirty untreated water.
Residents lambasted council chairman Esau Gwatipedza Dube who claimed falsely during a radio interview that the water was clean. Engineers confirmed that the water was dirty as insufficient chemicals were used, exposing consumers to disease.
Mudzviti condemned attempts by Dube and his council to discredit the residents association, which they refused to recognise. The Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T), which controls the council with seven of the 10 councillors, launched an investigation into corruption within the Zvishavane Town Council but abandoned it after councillors were bribed with commercial and residential stands. Sources said some councillors now owned seven stands each, with others selling them illegally.
MDC-T Midlands proportional representation senator Lilian Mpofu Timveos set up a bogus ‘residents trust’ chaired by her aide Brian Magwizi to derail the residents protests over being forced to drink untreated water, mountains of uncollected garbage and sewer pipes bursting everywhere around the town. Mpofu Timveos has corruptly received several stands in the town without going through the waiting list. Mpofu Timveos’s corrupt land acquisitions were facilitated by Dube, with whom she often drinks beer at Holy Water bottle store, and her protégé, ward 3 councillor Fatuma Phiri. One of the stands was earmarked for a women’s cooperative flower project but has been taken over by the senator after she kicked out other members.
Mudzviti condemned corruption in the council’s awards of land. He also rejected Dube’s attempts to discredit the official residents association. Mudzviti said the association was registered by the Department of Social Services.
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