Council hauled to court over $615k debt
Yeukai Karengezeka Court Correspondent
Upper Manyame Sub-Catchment Council (UMSCC) is suing Harare City Council at the High Court for $615 187 in levy arrears.
In terms of the Water Act, UMSCC is responsible for the management of Lake Chivero, Cleveland, Manyame, Seke and Harava dams.
It is also entitled to levy all permit holders for storage, use and abstraction of water on the basis of the permitted volumes as reflected on an allocated water permit. Harare City Council, which is responsible for the provision of water to residents of the city has failed to clear the levy which was due in November last year.
According to papers filed recently by UMSCC’s lawyers Hove and Associates, the Harare City Council is “showing negligence” in honouring the bill.
“The defendant (City of Harare) has no defence to the Plaintiff’s claim but is merely trying to buy time and pay the amount due on its own terms and when it deems fit.
“If the defendant had paid the invoice when it became due, then the plaintiff would not have approached the courts and incurred legal fees. Accordingly, the plaintiff is entitled to legal fees on an attorney and client scale, as the amount that is due is based on a statutory obligation to which there is no defence,” read the summons.
UMSCC also wants the interests to be paid at the prescribed rate of 5 percent per annum calculated from the date of demand being November 15, 2019.
The Harare City Council is yet to respond to the claim.