Harare in water meter verification exercise

HARARE - Harare City Council has embarked on an ambitious water meter verification exercise to determine the number of working meters and replace non-functional ones.

The council’s spokesperson, Michael Chideme, pictured above, said Harare has so far installed over 4 000 water metres in Belvedere alone.

“The number will go up depending on the number of non-functional meters,” he said.

This comes as the city fathers  recently claimed that at least 80 000 households have not been paying their water bills since 2013, hoping that government will cancel outstanding water debts in the run-up to the 2018 elections.

In a vote-catching gimmick ahead of the 2013 harmonised elections, then Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo ordered all local authorities to write off all debts owed by residents.

Speaking at a recent council debt management strategy meeting, Chideme said Harare was struggling to get residents to pay their bills.

“We have always been saying that the local authority is owed a total of $600 million by companies, government departments and individual households,” he said.

“Our investigations have shown us that there are 80 000 households which have not paid their rates since that period and they are hoping that the same amnesty is going to be extended to them because of the impending national elections.”

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