Three women in Gweru were reportedly detained by Mkoba 1 Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) after they attempted to fetch water at the police camp.
According to CommutTalk, the three women were forced to sit in the sun throughout the day as punishment.
They were also denied food, access to medication and water from morning until nightfall. CommuTalk said in a statement:
Mkoba 1 police detained 3 ladies for seeking water at the police camp. The women were subject to direct sunlight, no food, water and denial to access medication from morning to dusk. Gweru is facing acute water shortages and extreme rationing by Council.
Gweru, like most urban settlements in Zimbabwe, is currently facing severe water shortages which are generally attributed to dilapidated infrastructure resulting in the leakage of treated water and a prolonged drought.
In April this year, the Gweru Residents and Ratepayers’ Association pleaded with Council to stop the tight water rationing introduced last year, at least during the lockdown period.
The plea was however dismissed by mayor Josiah Makombe who was quoted by NewsDay’s Brenna Matendere as having said:
Firstly the reason for the water rationing was to ensure that we preserve the little water in our dams so that it lasts to the next rainy season.
Secondly, technically we cannot afford to pump water to all areas at once. So yes the water rationing continues despite issues of the COVID-19.