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» » Security threat at council water reservoirs

Brighton Chiseva /
Theresa Takafuma

MASVINGO – There is a looming security catastrophe at the city council Kopje Hills water reservoirs as they remain unguarded posing a threat from malicious elements who may tamper with the water the whole city consumes, a full council meeting revealed.
The water reservoirs, which store water from Bushmead Water Works have not been guarded since 2013, and the danger to the water reservoirs is further increased by illegal mining activities around the area.
“Your worship, we have that problem at our reservoirs about the security of our water. I do not know, have we deployed municipal police there to guard our water?
“There is no one guarding the water reserves because someone may be attempted to poison the whole city and we will have a major catastrophe in our hands.
“Water is life and if our water is tampered with we will not survive,” said Ward 8 Against Chiteme.
In his response, Town Clerk Adolf Gusha said the issue would be addressed at committee level not in the full council meeting.
“The issue is going to be answered at committee level. Since it was discussed at committee level, those questions should have been asked at committee level as they involve matters of a sensitive security nature.
“The full council deals with legislative issues, while the committees deal with issues of an executive nature,” said Gusha.
Ward 5 councillor Daniel Mberikunashe then said while he agrees with the town clerk on the procedure, the question should have been answered whether municipal police have been deployed to the reservoirs or not as agreed in the previous full council meeting.
“If you see us asking in full council like this, we need the issue to be answered as we had agreed. I think the question councillor Chiteme asked is pertinent, and should have been answered with a yes or no,” Mberikunashe said.
Chiteme further added that as much as he acknowledges that the council is the full body, he was just following up on an issue that was raised at full council because the security of the reservoirs is flawed, and with people coming from various political parties, with different intentions it is imperative for the council to have its own security.
According to the minutes from the Health and Housing Committee meeting held on February 6, the committee raised concerns on the poor performance by the municipal police. It was however explained the municipal police section is operating below capacity.
There are reports that a municipal police officer once deployed at the reservoirs who used to reside near the tanks with his family left after his wife was assaulted while he was downhill, making it impossible for one officer to guard the place singlehandedly without a firearm.
The Public Works and Planning Committee has before reported to council the threat posed by illegal mining activities at Target Kopje hills and the likelihood of damage to council water infrastructure which involve the reservoirs.
Mining activities at the site were discontinued 40 years ago after the realization that the city’s boundaries had expanded and the mining site fell within the surveyed limits of the city, and secondly mining operations would affect the water pumping storage and distribution network.
Gusha told the full council that the issue was under control and once they have dates on which they were going to take action on the matter, they are going to let the full council know.

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