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Residents of Zimbabwean Capital Up in Arms Over Council Water Shutoffs


The Harare Residents Trust trust filed suit last week against the council for estimating water bills, saying the billing system is inconsistent and results in charges for water service that beyond the means of residents

Residents of sections of the Zimbabwe capital of Harare are up in arms over a decision by the Harare City Council to shut off water supplies to more than 3,000 households this week even as the world marked International Water Day on Tuesday.

Sources said the Kuwadzana Extension and Cranborne sections of the capital were most affected by the cutoffs, which advocates for the residents said have been imposed regardless of whether individual households had paid water rates or not.

The Harare Residents Trust trust filed suit last week against the council for estimating bills. It said the billing system is inconsistent and charges rates beyond residents' means.

Residents Trust Coordinator Precious Shumba said his group is urging residents to pay a maximum of US$15 a month which he said is a reasonable charge, adding that the city should make up any shortfall in revenues by increasing rates to industry.

Shumba told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that the city council’s decision to cut water supplies is an infringement of the basic human right to water.

VOA was unable to obtain comment from city council officials.

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