The North East District Council (NEDC) councilors have reportedly given Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Minister Prince Maele ‘one last chance’ to honor their invitations. Civic leaders have charged that Maele has been ignoring their pleas to come and address the NEDC about the severe water shortage in the area. However, councilors have claimed that the minister has been ignoring their requests and now they are planning to take the matter further. NEDC chairperson Florah Mpetsane admitted that water scarcity in her district has reached alarming levels. “The eastern bloc that comprises of villages of Senyawe, Tshesebe, Tsamaya, Ramokgwebana, Mabudzane and others within the vast northeastern part of the country is the hard hit area,” confirmed Mpetsane. She said as a result they have been inviting the minister to come and address the council about the water crisis. However, she could not be drawn into confirming or denying suggestions that the council has taken a decision to report Maele to the Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi for non-performance. “We have written a letter of invitation to the minister once again. And we remain optimistic, as the NEDC, that the minister will come and address the civic leaders about the water situation in the area,” said Mpetsane.
But Mpetsane could not divulge much as to whether the invitation is the much-talked about “one last chance” or not. She confirmed that the councilors in the north east district are waiting for Maele with an unabated breath. However, scores of thirsty and angry NEDC councilors who talked to this publication in separate interviews have hinted that the council recently took a resolution to summon Maele for the last chance. “Failure to take heed to the latest invitation will leave us (councilors) with no option but to report Maele to the Masisi for non-performance,” said Masunga ward councilor Elias Mbonini, adding the resolution was taken during a full council session that ended a couple of weeks ago. Describing the minister’s action (of not honouring the NEDC invitations), as “disrespect at its best,” Mbonini said the people of north east are suffering while the minister responsible is not caring. According to Mbonini, the councilors will fight to the bitter end until the residents of northeast get uninterrupted supply of water. For many years, Mbonini said the people of North East have been getting erratic supplies of water despite having Ntimbale and Shashe dams in their vicinity.