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Harare City Council Reverses Proposed Payment Charge Amid Blacklash

  • Tatenda Gumbo

Combined Harare Residents Association chief executive Mfundo Mlilo says that although the plan was revised, the city billing system remains in disarray, and is in need to an upgrade.

The Harare City Council has backtracked on its proposal to charge residents US $200 to set up accounts to pay their arrears in bills and rates to the city.

Harare residents slammed the plan saying that more than half of unpaid rates have been estimated and in excess of what is owed.

The city wants to collect nearly US $300 million in unpaid water bills, rates and supplementary charges.

Residents can now set up a payment plan with any amount of payment, but interest charges will continue to accrue at 10 percent a year.

Combined Harare Residents Association Chief Executive Mfundo Mlilo said although the plan was revised, the city billing system remains in disarray and needs upgrading. Amid enduring water shortages residents complain they are usually charged US $20 for water services that are unavailable.

Harare reportedly needs 13,000 mega liters of water per day but is only producing 600 mega liters, of which half is lost trough leakages.

Mlilo said the city and the government must find resources to assist water supply to Harare, but also create a billing system that can correctly gauge water usage of each household.