By Lenin- Chitownews citizen reporter
Residents of Zengeza 3 living in the vicinity of Chiwenga street are up in arms against the caretaker of the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (UCCZ) Zengeza branch who is denying them access to water from a borehole donated to the community by an NGO called SMILE in 2014.
The borehole in question was apparently drilled within the church’s premises for purposes of safekeeping by SMILE- who handed it over to the community during a public ceremony attended by residents and UCCZ congregants in 2014.
When Chitownews visited the Church premises on Monday morning, the gate was locked and churchyard looked deserted in sharp contrast to the nearby Seventh day Adventist church whose yard was a hive of activity as residents queued and took turns to pump water from a borehole.
Irate residents who spoke to Chitownews said they were disgusted by the Church caretaker’s selfish and anti-social behaviour that goes against the Church’s beliefs and Christian teachings.
Mai Sibanda- who lives in Chakanyuka street close to the UCCZ church narrated how the stand-off between residents and caretaker developed; “The borehole was donated to the community by SMILE Zimbabwe and we were all invited to the handover ceremony. The people from that NGO made it clear that the borehole was meant to serve community members and mitigate water shortages. I personally gave the closing prayer at that ceremony”. She emphasised. “When the rains started and water flowed from the taps- most of us stopped visiting the borehole. After some months the church caretaker started denying people access to the borehole and we did not take it seriously until we confronted him as representatives of the community and he told us that the borehole was church property”.
Efforts to get a comment from the church caretaker were fruitless as he was evasive. Chitownews also tried to contact SMILE and the email went unanswered by the time of writing.