Massive water disconnections
Massive water disconnection in Gweru
Gweru City Council which is owed more than $7 million in rates and unpaid water bills has embarked on massive water disconnections to force residents to clear their arrears.The disconnections started last week targeting those owing council huge amounts. Assistant Town Clerk, Tapiwa Marerwa, said the water disconnections were meant to force residents to clear their arrears.
“We have since started to disconnect water to residents who are in arrears,” he said.
Marerwa said the council has been patient enough with its residents.
He said residents should appreciate government’s benevolence of writing off their bills mid-last year.
“It is so disturbing that there is now a trend among our residents of not servicing their accounts,” Marerwa.
Marerwa said the council was owed more than $7 million by residents and this was affecting service delivery. Marerwa said residents who had their water disconnected will now have to pay a reconnection fee of $23 and those who illegally reconnect supplies will be fined heavily.
However, residents expressed mixed feelings on water disconnections. Tawanda Musonza, 30, of Athlone Park applauded the council for disconnecting water to defaulters.
He said it made sense as council depended on money paid by residents.
“There is nothing wrong with what council is doing because council needs the money to enable it to continue providing services to residents,” he said.
Another resident from Windsor Park who preferred not to be named said the council should first engage them before embarking on water disconnections.
“We need a platform to present our problems before disconnections,” said the resident.
Sarah Mtepfa, 50, from Mambo blamed the problem to council’s failure to produce bills on time.