Harare City Council Sued $600k For Unpaid Water Levies

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE Harare City Council has been dragged to court by a corporate water body, Upper Manyame Sub-Catchment Council, after the local authority failed to settle $615 187 in water management levy arrears.

According to a court application filed this week at the High Court, Harare had refused to settle the debt despite demand.

“The defendant (City of Harare) has no defence to the plaintiffs claim but it is merely trying to buy time and pay the amount due on its own terms and when it deems fit,” the summons read.

“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.

In terms of the Water Act, Upper Manyame Sub Catchment Council is responsible for the management of water resources and the allocation of water in Zimbabwe.

The corporate entity 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 a water permit which it is allocated.

Upper Manyame Sub-Catchment Council also manages various dams, which include Chivero, Cleveland, Manyame, Seke and Harava dams.

The court papers show the amount Harare City Council owes, was due in November last year. Council is yet to respond to the claim.