The Sunday News
Mildred Sithole, Midlands Reporter
THE Government has once again rescued the beleaguered Gweru City Council after availing $7 million to purchase a high-water lift pump.
In a statement, the council said the Government has come to the rescue to avert a potential disaster which could have seen the city experiencing serious water shortages.
“The Ministry of Finance (and Economic Development) pledged financial support amounting to $7 million towards the purchase of a high lift pump. The process of disbursing the funds has been initiated and the funds are expected to be received any time from now,” said the local authority in a statement.
The bail out comes after the cash strapped local authority approached the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and the Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs, Cde Larry Mavima to help lobby Treasury to release the funds. Gweru City Engineer Robson Manatsa told Sunday News that the local authority approached Government for the high lift pump after receiving four other pumps.
“So, we approached Government, through the office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs. We also approached the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing appealing for help. The city which would have gone dry will have water after this intervention by Government.
We have also approached Government to assist with treated water pumps to draw water and supply. I am informed that the request is being considered over and above this intervention,” he said.
Initially, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing bought four water pumps for the city at a cost of US$440 000.
The local authority had earlier indicated that it required US$6 million for the same pumps, raising suspicion of corruption.
Councillors recently cornered management over the method that they had used in coming up with the figure after Government bought the pumps for less than half a million dollars.