VICTORIA FALLS town has been dogged by water shortages with some residents going for a month without the precious liquid, amid reports that the town fathers have deliberately adopted water rationing as a way of reducing consumption to punish residents for non-payment of bills.
The situation is so bad that if measures are not taken soon, the resort town could be sitting on a health time bomb.
Mfelandawonye, Garikai, Mkhosana and Chinotimba suburbs are the most affected suburbs.
Efforts to get a comment from council officials were fruitless as all those who were authorised to speak to the media, including mayor Sifiso Mpofu, were said to be out of office.
However, Southern Eye is reliably informed that the actions by council were designed to punish residents for non-payment of water bills.
“They are deliberately fixing people,” a council insider said.
“Recently at a meeting at Mosi oa Tunya High School there was word that the council wanted to cut costs by reducing water consumption by residents since they were not forthcoming in settling bills.
“Mind you, what the council is doing is infringing on the rights of residents as they should have unhindered access to water.”
Victoria Falls Residents’ Association chairman Morgan Gaza Dube was bitter over the issue, saying they were prepared for a confrontation with the local authority as the officials were refusing to disclose the causes of the water shortages.
“We have gone close to a month without water and when we try to inquire from the council on what’s the cause, authorities refuse to disclose the reasons,” he said.
“The situation has become very bad. We tried calling for a meeting with council, but the town clerk (Christopher Dube), who was supposed to address the residents, was said to be in Bulawayo for his examinations,” he said.
Dube could neither confirm nor refute reports that council was punishing residents for non-payment of bills.
“We heard about the rumours, but as I said, council does not want to meet with the residents nor their representatives to point exactly what’s causing water shortages, but if it is about punishment, they should not punish all the residents, because of some individuals who fail to pay their bills, “he said.