Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
A HARARE magistrate has issued a warrant of arrest against Edward Tome of Stand 837 Jacana Drive Borrowdale for failing to appear in court for judgment on charges of running an illegal bulk water supply business.
Tome was supposed to appear in court on September 13, 2021 facing charges of selling water in bulk without a water permit as required by Section 34(1) of the Water Act, 1998, Cap 20:24. According to the Water Act, no person should abstract water in bulk for any purpose in a residential area other than primary purposes except in terms of a permit.
Suburban understands Borrowdale Police Station is handling the matter and is expected to bring Tome to book.
Tome’s case been before the court since February this year and judgment was expected to be handed down on September 13.
Residents of Borrowdale and surrounding suburbs petitioned the Nyagui Sub-Catchment Council and Mazowe Catchment Council complaining about the illegal operations at Tome’s residence. This prompted the water authorities to effect an arrest on Tome and his subsequent appearance at the Harare Magistrates Court.
Tome could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was not going through.
Nyagui Sub-Catchment Council Manager Mr Russell Ndoro confirmed Tome had been slapped with a warrant of arrest.
According to court papers, Edward Tome applied for a water permit through Nyagui Sub Catchment Council sometime in 2019. Nyagui Sub Catchment Council recommended a rejection to Mazowe Catchment Council due to the size of his stand, location of the stand in a residential area and conditions on the title deed.
Mazowe Catchment Council, after receiving a recommendation for rejection, wrote to Edward Tome on November 5, 2019 rejecting his application. The letter was an Order of a Catchment Council as per Section 27 of the Water Act,1998, CAP 20:24.
But Tome defied the order of the Mazowe Catchment Council and continued abstracting water for bulk supplies without a Water Permit at Stand Number 837 Jacana Drive, Borrowdale in violation of Section 34(1) of Water Act,1998, SI 206 of 2001 and SI 90 of 2013.
His neighbours have been complaining that Tome’s bulk water supply business was leading to the depletion of the water table in the suburb affecting their boreholes.
Borrowdale and surrounding suburbs are some of the areas worst affected by the water crisis in Harare as they do not receive council tap water, leaving them to rely on borehole water and bulk water suppliers.
An investigation by the Nyagui Sub Catchment Council, Mazowe Catchment Council and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority established that the illegal activities at Tome’s residence affected the water table for the area.