Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
Defaulting residents must brace for massive water disconnections as Harare City Council flexes its muscle in a bid to recover $165 million in unpaid bills. The city’s principal communications officer Mr Michael Chideme said for Harare to provide water, consumers must pay their bills. “While acknowledging that water is a basic human right that should be guaranteed, consumers of water should pay for the service to ensure continuity of supply,” said Mr Chideme.

“It costs over $4 million every month to provide water in Harare and satellite towns of Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Epworth and Norton,” he said.

He said the city requires funds to pay for water treatment — $3 million for chemicals and $1 million for electricity plus other costs such as conveyancing the water to each house, labour and maintenance of the water infrastructure.

Mr Chideme said warrants of execution had been served to 4 039 residents who owed the city a combined $16 536 786,50.

The city said a High Court ruling outlawing disconnections would cripple council operations as everyone would end up using water for free.

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