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Harare billing in shambles
Mbanje, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
October 20, 2013
week accused the Harare City Council of perpetrating a chaotic billing
system resulting in several households getting inflated bills.
Some bills were
as high as US$93 per household a month in high density areas but
normally they range between US$15 and US$40 a month depending on
spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi said the local authority will continue
with water disconnections despite concerns by the residents.
of Harare’s Kuwadzana 7 suburb said it was unfair for the
council to disconnect water without addressing concerns regarding
the billing system.
we are not happy with the system being used to bill us, council
should also consider separating rates from the water account,”
The water account
- which is made up of a minimum charge and a metered or estimated
reading - is inclusive of rates, sewer fees and refuse removal.
that had not paid their rates were last week caught unawares by
council officials who went around switching off water supplies in
several suburbs around Harare.
of Dzivaresekwa suburb said while residents were willing to pay
up, council had a responsibility to ensure that the billing system
high time council puts its house in order and their first port of
call should be the billing system. We have no confidence in it,”
The issue of
billing became emotive following reports that seven council employees
from the revenue and central accounts department were fired while
one was arrested for manipulating the city’s billing system.
scanned and issued fake receipts to consumers whose accounts would
not be credited even though they would have paid.
Residents Trust (HRT) director, Precious Shumba said disconnecting
water for residents who used it for domestic purposes was unjustified.
are willing to pay for what they would have used but there are many
issues that are making them resistant, like the billing system,”
receiving a lot of criticism and that is one of the major reasons
why people are not willing to pay.”
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