This morning(3 April 2020) we shared with you an update that we had filed an urgent court application on behalf of Arda Transau Community.They had not had water for four weeks. We are glad to advise that ZESA has since reconnected electricity to ZINWA water pumps within the Community.
ZELA files an urgent chamber application (Background)
- The third of April, 2020 marked four weeks since the Arda Transau community had gone without electricity after the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (PVT) LTD disconnected them due to arrears owed by the community. The disconnection of electricity services supply had forced the villagers to draw drinking water from only one source of water, a mechanically powered borehole at Chirasika Primary School which is an average distance of one kilometer from each homestead in the compound style community. For other domestic purposes other than drinking and cooking, they drew water from Odzi River.
- The continued gathering of hundreds of villagers every hour at the sole water source within the community exposed the entire community to the dangers of the virus and defeated the efforts of the government in fighting the control of the outbreak of the disease. It goes without saying that the provision of water to the Arda – Transau community for practicing health and safety precautions of washing hands with clean and running water is important to the national control of the outbreak and spread COVID-19
On the 3rd of April 2020, ZELA filed an urgent court application in the matter between:
The Trustees of the Arda – Transau Relocation Development Trust (Applicant) and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (PVT) LTD (Respondent)
At the commencement of diamond mining activities in Chiadzwa communal lands under Chief Marange in Mutare district in 2010, several villagers who have traditionally lived in the area where diamonds are being mined were relocated to ARDA – Transau by the government through the office of the District Admnistrator.
At the moment there are over six generalized areas of residency identified by the names of companies which were mining in areas they lived in before, these are;
- Anjin housing 476 families.
- Diamond Mining Company (DMC) housing 278 families
- Mbada diamonds housing 100 families.
- Jinan housing 87 families.
- Marange Resources housing 44 families and
- Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company 26 families.
From 2010 to December 2019 the mining companies that relocated the families have been responsible for the payment of electricity supply services to the Respondent. The electricity has been used to power water pumps installed by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority at the instance of the mining companies.
Since the discontinuation of the complete subsidization of power utility bills by the mining companies, specifically the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (Pvt) Ltd, the community has admittedly struggled to pay for electricity consumption bills.
This has resulted in a cumulative current debt of over ZWL$35,000.00 which the community has been trying to find means of settling.
Consequently, and as rightfully provided them by law, the Respondent discontinued the supply of electricity to the community in response to non – payment of the postpaid electricity bills.