Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
GWERU City Council is issuing 15 000 summons for outstanding water bills after only 899 households out of over 40 000 responded to its call for submission of payment plans. The city is working towards issuing 40 000 summons to residents and companies by the end of January in a bid to recover $50 million for unpaid water.
Town Clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza said council had given residents and companies a November 30 deadline to enter into payment plans as a commitment to settle their bills. She said they resorted to legal action and before Christmas the first batch of 15 000 summons would have been issued. Ms Gwatipedza said 25 000 more will be issued before the end of January.
“Council is owed more than $50 million in unpaid water services by residents and companies which it needs to recover to improve service delivery. However, a mere 899 properties or accounts are now on payments plans against the projected number of over 40 000 accounts that are in arrears. From this payment plan process, we are going to raise $790 000,” she said.
Ms Gwatipedza said council was forced to take the legal route to recover its money from the residents and companies.
“Once summons have been issued, it will become expensive for residents and companies as each process will require money. From issuing of the summon, we can get a default judgement, then writ of execution and to stop those process it will mean that the resident or account holder will have to incur some costs,” she said.