There has been a long held belief that Zinwa is still responsible for water supplies in the country’s cities and major towns leading to water users blaming Zinwa for water challenges in those areas. In some cases, clients have lost valuable time and money calling or visiting Zinwa offices to enquire about service. In the worst case scenario, some mistakenly paid water bills at the Zinwa offices in Harare, only to realise the mistake when the Zinwa system could not pick the clients’ name and account number resulting in the reversal of the transaction. The bills were supposed to be paid to the local authority, in this case Harare City Council.
The correct position, however, is that Zinwa no longer runs water and sewer systems in the cities and major urban areas.
Zinwa performed this function from 2005 to 2009 following a Government policy directive that required it to assume the management of water supplies and sewer services in all the urban areas.
The policy was later reversed in February 2009 paving way for local authorities to run the water treatment and reticulation systems in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
Areas where Zinwa supplies water
Since then, Zinwa has concentrated on its core functions of dam construction, dam maintenance, borehole drilling and providing potable or treated water in areas where the local authorities lack the capacity to provide this service.
This function is in accordance with the aims and functions of Zinwa as spelt out in Chapter 5 of the Zinwa Act. As such, Zinwa runs 534 water treatment plants countrywide and these supply water mainly to growth points, rural service centres and small towns. Among the places where Zinwa supplies water are Checheche, Zimunya, Nyika, Gutu, Ngundu, Ngomahuru, Mashava, Gokwe, Guruve, Mubayira, Beatrice, Chibhero, Sadza, Mutoko, Hwedza,
Dorowa, Murambinda, Nkayi, Lupane, Mataga, Fort Rixon, Maphisa, Jotsholo, Marula, Mutoko, Glendale, Concession, Mvurwi, Guruve, Centenary, Buhera, Chivhu, Mvuma, Karoi, Mamina, Magunje, Esigodini, Macheke, Nyanga, Headlands and Zaka among others.
Areas that Zinwa does not supply
Following the 2009 policy decision ZINWA handed over the water supply systems in Harare, Gweru, Redcliff, Kwekwe, Mutare, Rusape, Chegutu, Kadoma, Chipinge, Chiredzi, Chinhoyi, Kariba, Zvishavane, Plumtree and Bindura among others to local authorities. After the handover, local authorities assumed control of water management in the major cities and towns.
Relationship between Zinwa and local authorities
Apart from running these water treatment plants that provide water to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, Zinwa also runs in excess of 800 large and small dams that provide raw water for local authorities, farmers, mines and agricultural estates.
Local authorities in the cities and major towns only work closely with Zinwa for their raw water requirements. The councils obtain raw water from the Zinwa managed dams which water they then treat and reticulate to residents within their areas of jurisdiction.
For example, Harare gets its water from Chivero Dam which it partly owns and Manyame Dam which is wholly controlled by Zinwa, Kwekwe gets it water from Sebakwe Dam, a Zinwa owned and managed dam.
The relationship between Zinwa and these local authorities is therefore that local authorities are Zinwa’s clients. After providing the local authorities with their raw water requirements, Zinwa has no further role in the provision of water to residents.
Over the years Zinwa has consistently provided local authorities with their raw water requirements, in the same manner it has met the raw water requirements for farmers and other raw water users.