The Supreme Court has overturned a High Court decision and allowed local authorities to disconnect water from ratepayers who have bills owing. The ruling was made after the Harare City Council appealed a ruling by the High Court which had barred council from disconnecting water for residents. Supreme Court judge, Justice Bharatkumar Patel said in his ruling,
The provisional order granted by the court a quo be and is hereby set aside…Bearing in mind the enormous economic and budgetary considerations that would ordinarily arise in the provision of safe and clean water to a large populace, it cannot be said that the disconnection of water supply by reason of non-payment of water consumed in any specific instance constitutes an infringement of the constitutional right to water…In other words, the power to disconnect the water supply of any individual consumer in the manner prescribed is a necessary incident of the measures necessary to safeguard the rights of other consumers at large.
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