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Zimbabwean Civic Associations Seek Strategy On State Water Takeover

Zimbabwean civic associations meeting to discuss the takeover of local water and sewage operations by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, or ZINWA, agreed to form a task force to help local authorities and residents resist the ZINWA incursion.

The task force, to be headed by Combined Harare Residents Association Vice Chairman Israel Mabhoo, will report back in three months with possible solutions to the standoff between municipalities and ZINWA. The task force has also been asked to examine ways ZINWA can compensate local authorities for assets it took over.

Residents associations and local authorities oppose the takeover but there is little they can do to reverse the action imposed under the country's 1998 Water Act.

Mabhoo told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that one concern of the residents associations is that the ZINWA is a prime candidate for eventual privatization, presenting the risk of soaring water costs.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...