By Wellington Zimbowa
Mr. Bulk, a bulk water supply company owned by veteran boxing promoter, businessman and administrator, Stalin MauMau – is donating potable water to the public in Harare suburbs facing chronic water supply challenges, in a corporate social responsibility gesture aimed at boosting government’s efforts in arresting the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends social distancing, staying at home and maximum hygiene practices, including continuous hand washing with clean water and soap or sanitizing), as formidable weapons in fighting the health scourge.
With a 27 member staff compliment, the pioneer indigenous company has brought relief to ‘perennially tap dry’ Caledonia, Hatcliffe, Mabvuku/Tafara and Chitungwiza residents, since late March 2020, when President Emmerson Mnangagwa gave a lock-down order, in line with WHO standards, to encourage social distancing and staying at home.
“Being charitable has always been in my blood even before Covid-19. The company has been supporting various community projects, such as, the Danhiko Children’s Home and Caledonia,” said the affable MauMau.
He highlighted that the company has been buying mega water storage tanks and refilling them for challenged communities, such as, Caledonia.
However, the company’s community project has forced the firm to consider drilling more boreholes to meet demand.
One of the pioneering black indigenous companies in 2013, MauMau reflected on the challenges Mr. Bulk faced as the new kid on the block, struggling and strategizing in the previously white dominated industry – with whites constituting 90 percent (%) – gave a cold shoulder on rendering advice when called upon.
On a lighter note, the freedom fighter and former Harare East ZANU PF candidate who lost the ticket to MDC’s Tendai Biti in 2013 embraced progressive politics saying he was the only candidate who shook hands with the former acceding defeat.
Later, MauMau went on, and invited Tendai Biti, his arch political nemesis and now the incumbent parliamentary representative to handover a brand new television set he had bought for Danhiko project, which is within the same constituency.
Currently donating close to 10 Mega litres a day to communities, Mr. Bulk company is accruing ‘phenomenal operational expenses’, especially on fuel and other logistical issues with the commercial value of the charity overture clocking over millions.
But the Mr. Bulk director said he wouldn’t want to elaborate on the charity expenditure issue as the program was at his own volition, hence one had to bear own cross akin to his resolve to join the Zimbabwe’s liberation war front, risking his own life.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s Upper Manyame Sub-Catchment Council board chairperson implored government to urgently adopt private public partnerships (PPP) between councils and the private sector to alleviate water challenges in affected communities.
He also called for the country to adhere to a coordinated and regulated borehole water drilling procedures, including adapting to new technologies, such as, satellite siting for cost effective bargains.
However, as more businesses open up, due to the laxing demands of the Phase 2 lockdown stage, where all formal organizations have opened up, the company is juggling between satisfying business needs and the community charity overture.
Mr. Bulk company had forecast extending its product range to include bottled water, juices and ice blocks by year end, contends that the economic environment is not easy, with Covid-19 throwing most business projections into despair.
Schweppes Zimbabwe, Pepsi Zimbabwe, Beitbridge Juices and Clean City are some of the key customers that rely on Mr. Bulk’s multi-purpose certified bulk water service that includes sales and delivery within Harare.
By Wellington Zimbowa