MASSIVE water disconnections loom as Harare City Council has said it will disconnect defaulters in 20 suburbs who owe $331 million. Council, which recently got the nod to disconnect water supplies without a court order provided it follows provisions of Harare (Water) By-laws S1 64-1913, has since engaged a debt collector.
The by-law requires council to give 24 hours’ notice to affected parties before cutting supplies. The High Court, however, said where the bill was genuinely disputed, there should be recourse at the courts before council disconnected the water supply.
“The City of Harare hereby informs residents of below listed suburbs of pending water disconnections beginning Monday, 7 November 2016. Residents of these suburbs owe the city over $331 million in unpaid bills.”
The affected suburbs are Mt Pleasant, Strathaven, Avondale West, Avonlea, Mabelreign, Borrowdale West, CBD industrial, Arcadia, Amby Msasa, Alexandra Park, Beverly Msasa, Bluffhill, Budiriro, Crowborough, Dzivaresekwa, Mufakose, Kuwadzana, Kambuzuma and Warren Park.
According to the city’s financial report for the period January 1 to September 30, acting finance director Mr Tendai Kwenda reported that the prevailing economic challenges had affected most residents and corresponding revenue flows.
“Debtors were reported at $532,2 million, creditors stood at $421, 5 million. Actual collections amounted to $111,6 million.
“During discussion, the acting finance director bought to the attention of the committee the declining revenue collections and also reported that measures such as the engagement of debt collector, intensified water disconnection and set offs were being implemented to mitigate the challenges,” read the minutes.