Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) can now go ahead with the bulk prepaid water metering system in Beitbridge, after the High Court this week threw out an urgent interdict application by the border town.
The new system is part of Zinwa’s wider strategy to enforce payment by water users, among them local authorities who owe the parastatal in excess of $140 million.
Zinwa installed bulk water meters on points where Beitbridge Town Council draws water for distribution to the residents. It gave notice to council that the prepaid meter system would start on March 1 this year.
However, the local authority sought to stop the process through an urgent interdict pending the installation of corresponding meters at all houses in the town.
Council argued that it was unfair for Zinwa to implement the new system when individual households had no prepaid meters. High Court judge Justice Clement Phiri last week dismissed the application for lack of urgency.
“Whereupon after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that this matter is held not to be urgent.
“The applicant shall bear the costs on the ordinary scale,” ruled Justice Phiri.
In a founding affidavit by Beitbridge town secretary Mr Loud Ramakgapola, it was stated that council and Zinwa had an agreement in which the latter treats water and supplies it to the town in bulk.
Council then distributes the water to residents from whom it must collect money.
It was agreed that 40 percent of the money is handed over to Zinwa.