Fidelity, residents clash over failure to deliver water in Southview Park

Livingstone Marufu Property Reporter
Fidelity Life Assurance (FLA) is at loggerheads with residents over alleged failure to deliver water since 2016 at its Southview Park stands.

The uproar comes at a time when the property developer is said to have purportedly failed to honour water promises to residents since the completion of stands servicing in December 2016.

Consequently, residents are upset and planning to stage a demonstration against Fidelity.

The area is now said to be a health hazard as the company is said to have sunk very few boreholes that cannot support 5 300 population.

Residents are allegedly buying water from water suppliers at a higher cost, which they say is proving to be costly.

However, Fidelity said they have paid heed to residents’ concerns and will soon resume operations.

Fidelity Life Assurance general manager marketing Melanie Gumbo said: “The works are set to resume by July 1 2018 and we have committed to our stakeholders (residents and the City of Harare) to deliver water to our residents before year end subject to availability of foreign currency and all things being equal.

“We are also engaging the responsible authorities to get foreign currency support as per the provisions of the Reserve Bank’s Exchange Control Directive RR86 dated 5 May 2016 and Foreign Exchange Priority List Guidelines.

“We have been engaging the residents through the Residents Committee on our progress. We have been focusing on completing the on-site works so as to get Compliance certification and allow residents to start planning and housing construction.”

She said on-site work was achieved in May 2018 and the current focus is now on delivering water to valued customers.

Fidelity highlighted there were residents who came on to the scheme early and have now completed construction of their homes while many customers were building their structures.

With this realisation, Fidelity Life Assurance engaged boreholes experts and drilled 12 such facilities.

The Residents Committee requested for additional four boreholes in April 2018 and these have since been drilled.

However, residents on the ground are alleging that property developer did not honour their promise of delivering piped water by December 2016 and sinking of boreholes will not be enough to construct houses of that magnitude.

The current residents population as per our and City of Harare compliance certification is approximately 600.

Mrs Gumbo explained: “The 5 000 mentioned is the total stands to be delivered at the entire development. We have a total of 16 working boreholes to support the resident population.

“Nevertheless, Fidelity Life is well aware of the inconvenience of residents having to fetch water from boreholes and everything is being done to ensure that piped water is delivered and borehole water becomes optional.

“We have used a total of $2 million and a further $5 million is needed to complete the works.”

Fidelity said the City of Harare accepts the statutory responsibility to provide all off-site infrastructure especially where you have a 9km water line cutting across private property.

However, it is said that the City has made it known to all private players wishing to participate in property development that it does not have the financial capacity to discharge its statutory obligation due to many other responsibilities and demands on their resources.

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