A POLYGAMOUS businessman with five wives and 16 children has filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court seeking an order that compels the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to reconnect water at his house.

The water services were disconnected at his house in Highmount suburb on June 26 over a $6,000 debt, which was accrued over an unspecified period.

Samuel Muvirimi, the applicant in the matter, argued that he and his family were sitting on a health time bomb following last week’s water cut at his place of residence.
In the court papers filed on Wednesday, the BCC was cited as the respondent.

In his founding affidavit, Muvirimi who is a self actor, said his family, which includes a three-week-old baby, was under serious threat of contracting diseases.

“I belong to the Johane Masowe Church where our policy is that if one marries more than one wife, he ought to stay with all of them and the children under the same roof, feed together and no wife is allowed to cook separately. The disconnection of water services at my house without a court order is illegal as the sheriff of the High Court has already attached my property which might be sold soon,” said Muvirimi.

He argued that the council could not enjoy both the disconnection and attachment without a court order.

Muvirimi, whose household property was attached over a $6,000 water debt, has since filed an application for rescission of the default judgment under case number 6522/4 at the magistrate’s court.
“The disconnection of water is not only illegal but a health hazard to my family and my neighbours. I’m applying that pending confirmation of this provisional order, the respondent be and is hereby ordered to reconnect water to my residence at Number 12 Tagore Avenue, Highmount, Bulawayo, within four hours of service of this order,” said Muvirimi.

“I submitted a water rebate on July 15, 2014 and the city council is still to credit me. I was advised that I might be entitled to a rebate of between 50 percent and 100 percent by writing off the debt. I have written a letter to the mayor and I’m still waiting for the response”.

In April, Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Martin Makonese ordered BCC to restore water supplies it had disconnected at a local food outlet over a $10,000 water bill.
Justice Makonese granted the provisional order following an urgent chamber application by Burgersdrop (Pvt) Ltd which sought an order compelling the council to reconnect water at its rented premises along JMN Nkomo Street in Bulawayo.

During the same month, the High Court dismissed another urgent chamber application by three Bulawayo pensioners who were suing the BCC for arbitrary water disconnections at their residencies.

The three applicants, Peter Frank Sibanda, 66, Paul Phiri, 64, and Douglas Sibanda, 62, through their lawyers TJ Mabhikwa and Partners, had lodged the application, arguing that they were being deprived of their right to access clean water because they are pensioners. chronicle

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