WASHINGTON DC —
The Harare City Council says it has started disconnecting water supplies to defaulting residents who still cannot pay on time following a government directive for councils to write-off all outstanding bills back-dated to 2009.
City spokesman Lesley Gwindi told the Herald newspaper that since residents are starting on a clean slate following the debt cancellation, they should be able to pay the bills which he believed were manageable.
Studio 7 failed to reach Gwindi for a comment but some Harare residents immediately demanded the council should sort out its billing system first before it starts punishing them.
Combined Harare Residents Association chairman, Simbarashe Moyo, said the council is not being sensitive to the plight of residents as some of the households are poor and others being headed by children.
Reports say Harare City Council needs $100,000 a day for water purification chemicals which amounts to about $3 million per month.
Ironically, the council wrote off debts amounting to $330 million that some analysts said could have helped buy chemicals for at least ten years.
Bulawayo Progressive Residence Association organizing secretary Ambrose Sibindi said the authorities in the City of kings and queens have not yet started disconnecting water supplies but are sending out notices of possible action to those who are not paying water and sewer bills.