Calls for prepaid water meters demo

BULAWAYO - Residents here say they will on Friday unfurl mass demonstrations against the introduction of prepaid water meters in the city.

The protests are being called by civic group Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) which said it was mobilising over 10 000 residents to take to the streets against council’s move.

The planned protests come as the local authority has unilaterally piloted prepaid water meters in Cowdray Park’s Hlalani Kuhle area before rolling out the programme to the rest of the city next year.

BPRA argues prepaid meters punish the poor.

But the Bulawayo City Council described the move as pure grandstanding.

“The fact is all those who are planning this so-called protest are just but jumping the gun,” Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda said.

“We are still in the process of consulting. At the present moment, what the council has done is to put up a pilot project in Cowdray Park and it is from this that we are going to tell whether this project is feasible or not.”

The deputy mayor accused the civic group of pushing a sinister agenda.

“I think these people are merely pushing a political agenda or rather it’s a way for them to get donor funds because we have not passed a resolution in that regard,” he said.

This is not the first time the civic society organisation has demonstrated against the city council over the same issue.

Last year, hundreds of residents took to the streets stating that the prepaid water meters were not welcome.

The civil group has also organised public meetings and door-to-door campaigns against prepaid meters.

Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere recently came out in full support of the controversial gadgets.

Comments (5)

So instead of hurting the poor rather not have clean water or any water at all for the whole city because there is no money......good idea BPRA

Qawe laMaqawe - 2 September 2015

The responsible authorities or rather policy makers are very good at imposing policies without consulting the intended beneficiaries let alone carrying out an analysis in anticipation of both negative and positive intended and unintended outcomes. To begin with, can the city fathers and the authorities release to the public a paper explaining to the public the current arrangement its feasibility and non- feasibility , how it is not sustainable and why a new arrangement should be made. In my opinion, the same reason why the city fathers have not been able to supply water to every households will persist long after introducing these gadgets. If pple cannot pay their water bills now, to an extend some have had their supply cut, what makes you think they will be able to afford these prepaid ones. There are many issues which these people need to consider before they can adopt this policy. Surely you claim to represent the people but you don't, where are the people in all these plans? worst of all, these gadgets are coming on a loan basis if i am not mistaken and God knows how long it is going to take to pay back this loan. Selling out our beloved country together with its resources (water). Residents should join the protest, this is an anti-poor policy to say the least.

Takaedza Takaedza - 2 September 2015

Did i get it well our fellow countrymen in Bulawayo want to demonstrate against the introduction of prepaid water meters?That demo is just a luxurious media event which borders on mischief and lack of common understanding blended with out of date mentality to the clues of the problems of the time we shall see one demonstrating against toll gates.Life in the city has just costs in all aspects if one cant afford he or she ought to leave for another space that can accommodate him or her.

carson macate - 2 September 2015

This is a good move city council,I have made a lot of saving since the introduction of prepaid electricity meters.I am looking forward to more saving,pleas exclude industries

chitayitayi - 3 September 2015

Its wrong wrong to install the pre paid meters full stop. use the cash used to procure these meters to improve our reservoir capacity. the solution is to increase capacity and fix the leakages which are all over the townships. dams have ''high siltation''. that need to be removed when water tables are down so that when the rain season comes they can hold more capacity. its simple basic staff and one wonders why the city engineering department isn't doing that at ncema. maybe its time for fresh brains at the top of the town hall. the city is growing and we also need to consider other methods of tapping water rather than punish residents. water is a basic necessity for all. we should be paying for services, ie repairs of pipes and maintenance and not the god given resource.

PeopleFirst - 8 September 2015

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