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Maitengwe Dam reconstruction still in limbo

Maitengwe Dam in Bulilima, one of the biggest water bodies in Matabeleland South lies idle following the bursting of its wall in 2005.

The dam, also known as Mabhongane was a source of water for both domestic and wild animals especially elephants, which now prowl nearby villages of Jutshume and Bambadzi destroying infrastructure while looking for the precious liquid.

Villagers told CITE during a visit to the area, early this month that since the bursting of the dam wall they had not tasted peace with human-wildlife conflict has become the order of the day.

The vast dam, constructed before independence, has a wall that stretches over 7 kilometres in length.

Repeated calls and appeals by villagers for the government to rehabilitate the dam have not yielded any tangible results.

Villagers said they have also taken the matter to their area councillor who also said he would take the message forward, but until today the dam still lies idle.

Villagers said as long as the dam remained in the state it is they would have nothing to celebrate even if the area receives abundant rains.

In February this year, at the invitation of the legislator for the area, Dingumuzi Phuti, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) engineers visited the dam on a mission to survey the damaged wall.

However, nothing further to that has been done to attend the pressing matter.

In April the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water Climate and Rural Resettlement flighted a number of tenders inviting prospective companies to partner government in the rehabilitation of a number of dams across the country including Maitengwe Dam.

“Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement inviting suitable companies to bid for the following tenders……………..6.TENDER/WOR/2019 repair and rehabilitation of Maitengwe dam , site visit,” read part of the tender document.

The other reference for Maitengwe Dam tender seen by CITE is DTA 75 86 22.

Newly appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, John Basera, could not be reached for comment as he was said to be out of office, but a director for procurement in the same ministry, only identified as Makoni refused to shed more light.

“I am not allowed to talk the media, so there is nothing I can tell you about that tender,” he said before directing questions to the director of irrigation, who also could not be reached.

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