Kwekwe City Council is losing thousands of dollars to illegal water connections by companies and individuals and leakages due to ageing water pipes, an official has said. Speaking during a full council meeting last week, Kwekwe Mayor Councillor Matenda Madzoke said a Chinese mining company has been illegally connected to council water for the past 15 years.
Clr Madzoke said it was impossible that such a big company, which was not named during the meeting, would go for such a long period connected illegally without being detected.
He indicated that he suspected foul play.
“How can such a company go for so long without being traced? I suspect it is an inside job, we have someone who connected the water for these people who would know everything that we are planning and that person has prejudiced council of thousands if not millions of dollars,” he said.
Clr Madzoke said the Audit Committee and the Finance department should bill the company for the years that it was drawing water illegally so that it pays.
“They should be handed their bill and if they fail to settle it we will take measures. Why did it take so long for us to discover the illegal connection, something is wrong here,” he said.
Clr Madzoke said besides supplying water for the mining and processing activities, the mine also supplied water to its workers who stay at a compound within the mine.
“They forget that the chemicals are bought, and they even supply the compound where their workers stay, all this for free, that cannot continue, we need to solve the matter and if we fail we take the legal route,” he said
He also lamented some households that reconnected themselves after council has closed water for not servicing their bills saying they were also prejudicing the council.
Clr Madzoke said leakages were also costing the local authority adding there were some car washing companies taking advantage of the bursts pipes.
Although he could not mention figures, Clr Madzoke said council was losing millions of dollars from the bursts pipes.
“We are losing a lot because we are buying water chemicals that we are splashing in the streets, we should do something to curb these leakages. If the pipes are old let them be replaced,” he said.