There has been noise and contestation over who is responsible for the provision of water in urban areas with both MDC-Alliance and ZANU PF accusing each other of dereliction of duty.
Much of the debate has become bogged down in cheap politicking with little legal backing.
Here we lay out what the Water Act states about the issue in relation of the Minister.
Below is Section 6 laying out the General Functions of the Minister.
For the purposes of this Act, the functions of the Minister shall be-
(a) to develop optimum development, utilization and protection of the country’s water resources in the national interest and
(b) to ensure the availability of water to all citizens for primary purposes and to meet the needs of aquatic and associated ecosystems particularly when there are competing demands for water; and
(c) to ensure the equitable and efficient allocation of the available water resources in the national interest for the development of the rural, urban, industrial, mining and agricultural sectors.
(2) In the performance of his functions in terms of Subsection (1) it shall be the duty of the Minister-
(a) to provide overall policy guidelines on the development, exploitation and utilisation of water resources, ensuring that all components of the water cycle such as ground water surface water, evaporation, clouds and rainfall are recognised as being interdependent and forming part of a single water cycle.
(b) to ensure that water resources are managed, utilised and conserved in a manner consistent with national environmental approaches provided for in any enactment.
(c) to encourage participation by consumers in all the sectors referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (1) and catchment councils in the development, exploitation and distribution of water resources.
(d) to secure the provision of affordable water to consumers in underprivileged communities.
(e) to ensure that water resources are utilised at all times in an efficient manner having special regard to its value and the economic and other benefits that may be derived from it.