HARARE, Feb 13 — Water, Environment and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has fired the entire board of directors of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) with immediate effect for failing to deal with the situation in the Tokwe-Murkosi basin about 400 km south of here.

Tens of thousands of families have been affected by floods in the Tokwe-Murkosi basin. Part of the walls of the Tokwe-Murkosi Dam, which is still under construction, is said to have given way following heavy rains which have pounded the country in recent weeks.

Kasuwere announced that the dismissal of the board while presenting a statement on the situation at Tokwe-Mukorsi to the National Assembly here Wednesday.

“A new board will be announced soon,” he said. “We will have a competent team, a board that looks at these issues more closely, is hands on and has an appreciation of the technical issues,” he said when explaining the reasons for dissolving the board.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Prince Mupazviriho, and a selected team will in the meantime take over the functions of the board.

Meanwhile, Kasukuwere said efforts were underway to address the situation at Tokwe-Mukorsi with a three pronged approach being implemented to avoid the total collapse of the wall. This included excavation of additional channels to discharge water from the dam and raising the kerb to prevent the water from overflowing.

The kerb is 66.4 metres high while the water level is currently at 61.3 metres.

Kasukuwere urged local leaders to assist the government in moving people to higher ground. “I would like to assure Honourable Members and the nation at large that systems have been activated to ensure that our infrastructure is secure,” he said.

The government is mobilizing resources to assist the thousands affected by the floods.