Residents of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare and the satellite city of Chitungwiza have complained that they are receiving water and sewerage bills both from their respective municipal authorities and from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, or ZINWA, which took over the delivery of water and sewage services last year.
An official of the state-appointed Harare Commission dismissed the complaints as unfounded, adding that the city surrendered such responsibilities to ZINWA when the national agency took over the services in December 2006. The official said the council is only sending out bills to residents for rates other than water and sanitation.
She told VOA residents might be confused by the fact that ZINWA is operating from municipal premises. ZINWA spokesman Nicholas Mukarakate said that if there has been double billing, residents should ignore bills from the municipality.
He conceded that the ZINWA takeover has run into some problems, which might have had a bearing on the complaints, but he insisted they are a thing of the past.
VOA was unable to obtain comment from the Chitungwiza town council.
Combined Harare Residents Association spokesman Precious Shumba told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his organization has evidence residents are being double-billed, saying city officials have not addressed this.