Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter
Harare City Council must stop billing residents of Mabvuku and Tafara for water consumption when it has failed to supply running water in the suburbs for several years, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has said. Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters in Mabvuku yesterday, VP Chiwenga said Government was aware that Mabvuku and Tafara areas had perennial problems of tap water supplies, yet the municipality continued billing residents for a service they were not providing.
“This is when you hear the city council demanding payment from residents for a commodity that is hardly available,” he said. “This is not logical, how can they pay when they have no money.
“Zvekubhadhara magetsi nemvura izvo zvisipo zvapera. (This tradition of billing residents for a non-existent commodity has come to an end),” said VP Chiwenga to applause from the crowd.
He said the MDC-T failed to address issues affecting residents of Mabvuku for several years now.
VP Chiwenga said apart from failure to provide portable water and attending to sewer bursts timeously, the MDC-T council had also failed to improve the road network and mitigate power outrages among other challenges.
“The state of roads is very bad,” he said. “There are potholes everywhere.”
In an interview on the sidelines of the rally, Zanu-PF candidate for the constituency Cde Godwills Masimirembwa said residents relied on shallow wells and boreholes for their water.
He said what made matters worse was consistent sewer bursts and sewer ponds, which flow along the shallow wells, exposing residents to contracting water borne diseases.
Cde Masimirembwa said the city council continued billing residents even when they were not getting water supplies.
“Mabvuku-Tafara constituency has not had tap water for several years now,” he said. “Most of the pipes are now rusty, yet residents are still asked to pay bills.”
Mabvuku and Tafara has experienced water challenges for several years owing to old pipes and steep gradient, making it difficult for water to be pumped to the area.
Residents interviewed said despite unavailability of tap water, they still receive bills of up to $35 every month from the City Council.
They said some areas get water only once a month, while others do not get tap water at all.