Harare Residents Threaten Lawsuit Against Council Over Water Disconnections

Harare residents have threated legal action against Harare City Council over the authority’s move to disconnect water from residents for non-payment of tariffs.

As such, the Combined Harare Residents Association, (CHRA) has written a petition to the city council demanding that the water disconnections be stopped forthwith.

CHRA acting director Loreen Mupasiri-Sani claimed that it is against the law for the local authority to cut off water from residents for non-payment of water bills. She wrote:

We urgently implore you to desist from this idea of arbitrary water disconnections on the grounds that Section 62 [2] of the Zimbabwe Constitution entitles every person the right of access to any information held by any person, including the State, in so far as the information is required for the exercise or protection of a right.

We are aware that receipts are being done offline and no updates on payments are being done at the moment yet you are disconnecting water on a debt that you cannot establish.

The absence of the BIQ system has also denied property owners general information on the status of their accounts.

Simple principles of administrative justice require that you act lawfully, fairly and reasonably. It is in our view that your conduct of disconnecting water to coerce ratepayers to service a debt which you cannot establish due to technological failure on your part is unlawful.

Furthermore, payments made by ratepayers are not deducted during this “BIQ blackout period.

It is in our view that arbitrary water disconnections are unlawful, illegal and are a clear violation of the right to water.

CHRA is not opposed for the City to collect debts, however, the strategy or process must be in the confines of the law.

More: 263Chat.com

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