Masvingo residents have urged city fathers to introduce prepaid water meters, amid reports the local authority is now owed over $40 million in outstanding tariffs.
Speaking during a feedback ward meeting last Friday, residents complained that water tariffs were now beyond their reach, with individual households owing between $2 000 and $5 000.
Mr Peter Muzamani of Ward 1 said prepaid water meters were the only solution to avoid high water bills.
“Most residents in Ward 1 now owe the local authority huge sums of money in outstanding water bill. Most residents in this ward are not employed and struggling to pay rates. We now need prepaid water meters for it to be easy to us,” said Mr Muzamani.
Ms Tracy Takarangana said families who lived in council houses were getting a raw deal from the local authority as they had bulk water meters and yet they were made to pay different amounts of bills.
“Most of us live in hostels where we use bulk water and power meters. Surprisingly, we pay different amounts of water charges and yet there is one meter. We are confused on how the local authority is billing us.
“We are also told we owe huge sums of money in unpaid water bills. We appeal to council to install individual prepaid water meters so that we can afford to pay rates,” said Ms Takarangana.
Masvingo Mayor Councillor Collen Maboke advised residents to engage council over payment plans to avoid ballooning debts.
“Council had initially resolved to unleash debt collectors on all defaulters but councillors asked the local authority to first engage residents before serving them with summons for debts. I am happy to announce that you were saved and as it is, we are encouraging you to approach council to agree on payment plans.
“The issue of prepaid meters is ideal but water is a human right that even those who do not have money, are entitled to that precious liquid. However, if all residents agree, council can install the prepaid metres,” he said.
Clr Maboke, who also represents Ward 2 called on residents to embrace the culture of paying rates to help improve service delivery.
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Publish date : 2019-06-06 13:11:39