Bulawayo set for water disconnection blitz on bill defaulters

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

AUTHORITIES in waterless Bulawayo will soon embark on a water disconnection blitz targeting households and institutions that are in default of bill payment for the necessary resource.

Residents and businesses own the local authority more than $100 million in water payment arrears.

Town Clerk, Christopher Dube Friday said the water disconnection exercise will start in ward 7 which encompasses suburbs such as Makokoba, Mzilikazi and other residential areas closest to the city centre.

The city’s chief administrator warned the rate payers to settle outstanding water bills or be deprived of the precious liquid.

“The City of Bulawayo will be carrying out water disconnections in ward 7 and surrounding areas on all residential and commercial properties whose accounts are in arrears.

“Residents are encouraged to avoid being inconvenienced by these necessary recovery measures by approaching any council’s revenue offices and request to enter into a payment arrangement that will protect them against any of the recovery measures being taken,” said the Town Clerk.

To facilitate smooth settlement of the bills, Dube said, council has opened the Mzilikazi Revenue Hall during the weekend from 8 AM to 3 PM.

“Ideally, a payment arrangement acceptable to council involves an initial payment of 10 percent (minimum) of the total outstanding debt, followed thereafter by monthly payments of current bill in full plus 10 percent (minimum) of the outstanding debt until the debt is paid in full,” he said.

He advised residents and companies with arrears to make payment arrangements with the council.

Bulawayo faces a deepening water crisis which has seen the local authority so far decommissioning two of its main water supply dams, Umzingwane and Upper Ncema.

The city is also set to decommission another dam in the next three weeks if there is not enough rainfall experienced within the period.

As at January 8 this year, the city‘s total dam percentage stood at a precarious 35.40%.