Masvingo residents have urged city fathers to introduce pre-paid 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 said that prepaid water meters would help them manage their spending. One resident, Mr. Peter Muzamani said:
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.
Ms. Tracy Takarangana said that the current system was unfair as charges are not based on consumption but location. She said:
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.
Masvingo Mayor Councillor Collen Maboke said that the prepaid meters will be installed if residents are consenting to the move.
Residents representative organisations that have been opposed to prepaid water meters have been section 77 of the constitution which notes that water is a human right. They argue that once it is prepaid, the poor, by default, would have been robbed of their right to water.
More: The Herald