Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter—
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has started disconnecting water supplies to defaulters to recover $141 million owed for water rights and bills.Farmers who registered for the Command Agriculture will be exempted from the disconnections as they are expected to pay their water bills at the end of the season.
Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga yesterday said the disconnections would target all defaulters owing the authority in respect of both clear and raw water.
“Water disconnections will also target those water users whose supplies were illegally connected and those farmers abstracting raw water without valid water abstraction agreements.
The exercise has been made necessary by the non-payment of water bills by ZINWA’s various defaulters who include domestic water users, local authorities, schools, farmers, corporates, parastatals and Government departments.
“Currently, ZINWA is owed over $141 million by these defaulters, a development that has negatively impacted on the authority’s operations.
“Due to this non-payment by the clients, ZINWA has not been able to timely procure critical spares for water treatment plants, build stocks of water treatment chemicals, repair and maintain water reticulation and storage infrastructure such as dams,” she said.
Mrs Munyonga said Zinwa had also not been able to meet its statutory obligations such as the payment of creditors, taxes, salaries and levies.
She urged defaulters to pay up or visit their respective ZINWA offices and present acceptable payment plans.
“Clients who have queries relating to their bills are also advised to visit their nearest ZINWA offices for assistance or call the ZINWA national call centre,” she said.
“ZINWA would like to advise water users that the quality service can only be guaranteed if they pay for the service they get. Without the payments, service provision becomes unsustainable,” she said.