A number of the capital’s high suburbs have entered their third week without running water after major disturbances at council’s Morton Jaffray water works.
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) yesterday claimed its leaders were being harassed by police who wanted to stop the demonstrations against service delivery.
The lobby group had planned to start the demonstrations last Friday in Glen Norah and Highfield but had to revise its plans after police reportedly harassed its leaders.
Demonstrations are now planned for tomorrow in Mabvuku and Tafara, areas worst affected by the water cuts.
The residents also plan to lay siege on Town House for two days beginning on Wednesday.
“We are facing problems with the police who think we want to upstage government,” Shumba said. “Our leaders in the communities are being threatened.”
Mabvuku residents last week said they had gone for more than two weeks without running water despite settling their bills on time.
The residents, who have previously gone for more than two years without water, now rely on community boreholes drilled by the United Nations Children’s Fund.
“I wake up early so I can be in the water queue by 4am at the latest because the queue can be very long such that when you arrive late, you may only fetch water after midday,” a resident, Nyarai Chingono said.
“But sometimes even if we arrive early, some bouncers from the community arrive later and start filling their containers ahead of us and we have to wait until they are done.
“The bouncers also sell water to people at the end of the queue, charging US$1 for a 20-litre container.”
The residents said some schoolchildren had had to skip classes because of lack of water while others arrived late after first helping their families fetch water.
Fears of a renewed cholera outbreak continue to mount with the prolonged water shortage.
Some households have since installed rainwater harvesting tanks with hope for relief during the rainy season.
“A number of households have installed water harvesting equipment with assistance from an American non-governmental organisation,” Gogo Tembi Rego said.
“We hope this will provide us with temporary relief during the rainy season.
“But we still look forward to the authorities to provide a lasting solution to these problems.”