Villagers in Tjefunye, Tsholotsho could have been duped in a recent shady well pumping system deal with a Harare company – Prosper Well drilling company.
Villagers had come together to contribute funds to put a pumping system in one of the wells found in the area as part of the efforts to alleviate water woes.
According to the villagers, people walk distances of about 10 km to access the precious liquid.
In an interview with CITE, one of the organisers, Mlungisi Nkomo, said they paid Prosper over R9, 000 to put in the pumping system.
“As a community we are having serious water challenges, we have old systems which were drilled long back,” said Nkomo.
“One of the major boreholes we relied on was no longer functional; we sat down as a community trying to find means to get water in our area. I proposed that we contribute towards putting a pumping system to one of the wells. We contributed money as a community of more than 200 people.”
He further explained: “We looked for an affordable drilling company until we located Prosper Well Drilling. We inquired about the quotation and he told us that we will also have to transport them from Bulawayo to Tjefunye with his team. As a community we had no problems with that, but again he lied because he came alone.
We sent him money to go to Tjefunye. The community was called when he arrived and he connected the water and had promised to stay for three days to monitor if everything was working well but he only stayed a day and ran away the following morning.“
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sKhvrjjRJm1zi9GZ-lw1SoQBCYi5R_bQ/view?usp=sharing (Voice of Mlungisi Nkomo)
Nkomo added that the pump stopped working within two hours after his departure.
“He had told us to contact him whenever we experienced any challenges with the pump but when we tried to reach out to him he was out of reach. As organisers, we have tried to reason with him but he has since blocked our contacts and made false promises,” he said.
He said the community is now threatening to sell his livestock and look for another drilling company.
“As an individual I have failed to bring him back to fix the problem; he has false promises; I have run out of ideas,” said Nkomo.
Contacted for a comment, Prosper Chigora said some members of the Tjefunye community failed to understand how the pump works.
“Maybe some of the villagers who were using the pump failed to understand how it works, because when I left everything was working well and when I was installing it there was a disagreement within the community, some people were saying it was not proper while others were saying it was okay. Some even said the pump would stop working the moment I leave,” said Chigora.
“I installed the pump properly and the water was pumping properly and I told them to not use it for three days to allow it to dry up. When I got to Harare, that’s when I got messages that it was no longer working. I told them I will arrange to go and fix it when I get another client in Bulawayo since the area is far.”
Chigora said he was finalising the arrangements with Tjefunye villagers before going to fix the pump.
“I have another person I am working with in Bulawayo, so I told him I am still finalising talking with the villagers in Tjefunye then I will send him there to go and fix it because I don’t want him to go there and be threatened,” he said.
https://youtu.be/zNnxCrMl5Qg (video of Tjefunye well)
He said he would go this week to fix the problem.
“I will go and fix it but I think the issue has to do with communication barriers. They are now acting as if I ran away with their money but I didn’t do that. I gave them their receipts and even fixing the pump won’t even take 30 minutes,” he said.
“We are going to go there and fix this week, I only want us to communicate properly before sending my colleagues in a tense atmosphere,” said Chigora.