The contentious dam wall built by Marapira
... blocks Mucheke river to irrigate his small farm
... thousands of residents face water rationing
... Minister Hungwe fumes
MASVINGO - The deputy minister of Agriculture who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Masvingo North, Davies Marapira has erected his own wall across a section of Mucheke River close to his farm in order to block water flowing downstream, TellZim News has learnt.
Outraged residents have called for the demolition of the wall, they say poses a danger to the environment and people living close by as it was allegedly not built to professional specifications.
People are also complaining that Marapira is selfishly monopolising a natural resource that should benefit the whole community.
TellZim News saw an approximately four-metre high farm brick wall, close to the former Riverside Lodge and Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) Medical School which is under construction.
The brick and mortar wall, which was built in May last year, has seen the downstream of Mucheke River, which feeds into Lake Mutirikwi – City of Masvingo's only source of water – drying up despite the rains.
City of Masvingo mayor, Hubert Fidze said there was nothing the local authority could do in light of the fact that Marapira is expected to know better.
"We do not know by what authority he erected the wall to create his own dam. Mucheke River is not flowing because all the water is held up there. We are also afraid that there would be a dangerous flood if the wall collapses," said Fidze.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister, Josaya Hungwe said he was unaware of the development but promised to quickly investigate and deal with it.
"Why would Marapira erect a wall to block the flow of water? If he wants to irrigate his crops, he should create his own dam without endangering people's lives," said Hungwe.
When contacted for comment, Marapira lashed out at 'retrogressive people from Masvingo' whom he attacked for being quick to criticise.
"It is government policy and we are actually going to put more weirs upstream. The weir was there and we just upgraded it. The problem with the people of Masvingo is that they are negative thinkers and are quick to attack instead of supporting developmental initiatives.
"Mucheke does not flow all the time so I do not see what the fuss is all about. The government has embarked on water harvesting and we cannot be deterred by negative minds.
"We need to boost our agriculture; we want people who are productive not those who simply attack others," said Marapira.top news