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MDC led BCC criticised for buying wrong equipment

by Staff reporter
15 Jan 2021 at 07:39hrs | Views
BULAWAYO residents have criticised the city council for purchasing wrong valves for the rehabilitation of the Ncema and Fernhill Pump stations, which are pivotal for effective water supplies to the second-largest city in Zimbabwe.

Residents said this negligence was likely to stall the progress of water projects.

BCC is currently implementing the Bulawayo water and sewerage services improvement programme with the support from the Africa Development Bank.

The programme is meant to improve the city's water supply situation.

The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson Ambrose Sibindi accused the BCC of favouritism in awarding tenders.

"Their failure to commission the pumps at given timeframes shows that they (BCC) would have contracted a wrong company," Sibindi said.

He accused the BCC of continuously rescheduling projects and retaining a non-performing contractor.

Bulawayo United Residents Association chairperson Winos Dube castigated BCC for engaging companies that provide substandard services.

"It is very unfortunate that we rely on councillors to represent us during council committees. If we could be allowed into these council meetings, nothing of that sort would have happened. Now we have one project which is lying idle, the Egodini project. If that project had been awarded to the right companies, it would have been completed by now, "Dube said.

In a notice, Bulawayo acting town clerk Sikhangele Zhou said residents would endure water-shedding up to the end of this month due to challenges being faced in fixing the pump system.

"The first stage would see one pump at each pump station in operation by the end of January 2021 which would deliver an average of 52ML/day of water to Criterion Water Treatment Works. This forms part of the incremental solution, progressively working towards a fully commissioned pumping system, which delivers an average of 82Ml/day of water to Criterion by 15 March 2021," she said.

Zhou said the contract to fix the Ncema and Fernhill Pump Stations was awarded in 2018 at a cost of US$7,5 million and its commissioning had been planned for December 11 last year.

However, commissioning had been rescheduled due to the purchase of wrong parts.

She then advised residents that the BCC would continue with its intermittent water cuts up to the end of January, adding that normal water supplies will depend on availability of water at the city's dams from mid-March this year.

"Council will do all it can within the provisions of the contract to ensure the new commissioning deadline is met," Zhou said.

Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni was not reachable for comment.

Source - newsday
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