Chitungwiza Municipality has given ratepayers who drilled boreholes on their properties without its approval up to next week to regularise their developments or risk being fined $8 190.
In a statement, Chitungwiza Municipality acting town clerk Dr Tonderai Kasu said council was concerned by the rampant illegal drilling of boreholes.
“Those that illegally drilled boreholes are hereby being advised through this notice that they are being given up to June 30, 2020 to rectify these breaches and are advised that failure to do so by the stipulated deadline shall attract penalties,” he said.
Dr Kasu said those who wish to drill boreholes should approach council and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority.
The move has, however, drawn mixed reactions from ratepayers.
Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association (CHIPRA) secretary-general Mr Gift Kurupati castigated the municipality for being reactive.
“It could have advised ratepayers of this requirement way before many of these boreholes or wells were sunk,” he said. “We agree that by-laws need to be followed, but ratepayers need to be constantly reminded of such laws.”
Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association acting director Mr Brighton Kanyama hailed council for initiating the process.
“We hope council will thoroughly look into this issue, which will result in the protection of the water table,” he said.
Chitungwiza Residents Trust (Chitrest) director Mrs Alice Kuveya urged council to simplify the process of applying for permission to drill boreholes.
“While we appreciate that it has always been the responsibility of council to authorise the drilling of boreholes, it sometimes makes the process so laborious that people just opt to risk drilling without permission.”