HARARE - A residents’ group has demanded the implementation of a pledge by Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni that the Harare City Council will immediately stop charging fixed water charges to ratepayers who have not received council water from the years preceding 2014.
Manyenyeni told the council meeting last week that the 2014 resolution will be implemented this month.
The Mayor’s pledge followed an outcry from residents that despite the council resolution, they were being made to pay for fixed water charges, yet some of them last received supplies from as far back as 1994.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) said it was “deeply concerned by the lackadaisical approach by council in implementing its resolutions, especially those that seek to protect the interests of the residents of Harare.”
“Charging residents for services not rendered is daylight robbery and an act of extortion, hence our call to ... Manyenyeni to ensure that council stops robbing residents of their hard earned cash,” the lobby group said.
“What is more concerning is the fact that some of the residents who have not received water for years but are being charged fixed water charges have fallen victim to debt collectors who have been engaged by the Harare City Council.”
The debt collectors are charging an extra 10 percent of what the residents are said to owe council.
The debt collectors are also issuing threats of imprisonment and attachment of property.
“Chra would like to unequivocally state that such acts of robbery and extortion by the Harare City Council would justify any form of action by disgruntled residents,” Chra warned in a statement yesterday.
“We are concerned that previous calls for the Harare City Council to stop these acts of extortion have fallen on deaf ears and residents continue to be victimised.
“It is our firm hope that . . . Manyenyeni will honour his pledge and act to ensure fixed water charges are scrapped.
“ . . . we will intensify our programmes to urge residents who are not receiving council water to resist payment of fixed water charges.”