Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Dr Stan Mudenge (pictured) says urgent action must be taken by the Harare City Council and Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) to ensure that normal water supplies are restored at the University of Zimbabwe campus to enable students to come back into halls of residence on Sunday the 4th of September for the first semester.
Addressing journalists in Harare, Dr Mudenge said it is disheartening to note that after all the effort by his Ministry and authorities at UZ to ensure that students can move into halls of residence, Harare City Council and ZINWA have failed to supply water to the campus.
Dr Mudenge said the water reservoir that was constructed at the campus has been ready for the past three weeks, but is yet to be filled up as water supplies have been erratic.
A sub committee comprising the Ministry of water, Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, Professor Arthur Mutambara has now been set up to ensure that normal water supplies are restored at the campus.
Some students who were undergoing orientation at the campus ahead of the opening day said the water situation must be dealt with as a matter of urgency as they will be left stranded in Harare.
The University of Zimbabwe can accommodate up to 4 300 students in its halls of residence which have been refurbished.
If the water reservoir is full to capacity, it can hold up to 2 500 cubic metres of water and can supply the campus for three days.
Observers have queried why the Harare City Council and ZINWA are not putting the countryâ€™s biggest institution of higher learning on the priority list as is the case with hospitals.
In July, the University of Zimbabwe announced that it will in the next semester open its hall of residence to students following the completion of construction of the water reservoir that has the capacity to serve the whole campus.
However, it seems water problems at the highest institute of learning in Zimbabwe are far from over and students might find themselves stranded come September the 4th.