Residents up in arms over estimated water bills, dry taps

Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
CHITUNGWIZA Municipality, which has been under fire from residents for asking them to pay for unavailable water, has offered to reimburse affected households in the dormitory, an official said yesterday.

Furious residents have also accused the local authority of issuing estimated bills as meters were dysfunctional in most parts of the town.

Chitungwiza public relations officer Mr Lovemore Meya said the council was prepared to reimburse residents who were billed for water which they did not consume.

“We are already seized with this matter whereby we are calling on residents who have not been receiving water for some time to visit council and we will actually credit their accounts if we find that they have gone for a certain period without getting water supply,” he said.

In a statement, Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust director Ms Alice Kuvheya had challenged the cash strapped council to do away with water estimates and install functional water meters.

“Chitungwiza residents are found in a double tragedy of unavailability of water coupled with cumulative water bills as Chitungwiza Municipality continues billing residents despite its failure to supply the same,” she said.

“To show its relentless appetite to collect revenue without giving a hoot about service delivery, council even increased the water charges this August.

“The reason for this unempirical approach is that most water meters in Chitungwiza are moribund hence can no longer give accurate readings. Residents are accumulating monthly bills regardless of the fact that council is not supplying any water.

“This billing system is very unfair to residents who are hard pressed with the challenging economy. On top of that, the same residents have to fork out some money daily to buy water from the emerging band of opportunistic water dealers. This really puts our residents between a rock and a hard surface.”

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