Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
The Celebration Church has disputed the water bill presented by the Harare City Council that ranks it among Harare’s biggest church debtors arguing that the city was continuing to bill it for water when it has been relying exclusively on a borehole since the pre-dollarisation era.
According to the city, Celebration Church owes it $846 564, but the church says it only owes $154 520,95. The church’s lawyer Mr Alex Mambosasa said currently, the matter is pending before the High Court under Case No HC 606/ 17 and the city’s claim is for an amount of less than $400 000.
“It is demonstrably false that my client owes the City of Harare an amount of $846 564. The dispute between City of Harare and my client dates back to the year 2015. As of 30 November, 2015, an amount of $290 346,63 inclusive of $84 822 reflected on city’s records as owing,” he said.
“My client requested a waiver of interest and continued to service the debt at a rate of $7 000 per month. Surprisingly, about the same time, through its legal practitioners Messrs Gutu and Chikowero, the city demanded an amount of $336 244,74 from my client.”
He said the main bone of contention throughout the years had been that the city continued to bill Celebration Church for water charges when it has been relying exclusively on borehole since the pre-dollarisation era. Mr Mambosasa said calculations done by the church show that an amount of $154 520,95 is lawfully due to the city.
“The city and its attorneys will confirm that the client has since tendered that amount in full and final settlement of the claim. Currently, the matter is pending before the High Court.
“As the matter is sub judice, apart from highlighting the fact that the published figure is incorrect and that the City has been engaged with a view to clear what is lawfully outstanding, I am constrained to say much,” he said.