Even before the pandemic hit our shores things were tough in Zimbabwe and with multiple successive waves of Covid forcing lockdowns things have become even harder. Things have not just been hard on individuals, organisations including the City of Harare have been struggling to raise the necessary revenue in order to continue to provide essential services. This has led the city council to embark on tough measures meant to force struggling residents to pay.

Their latest such drive is door to door water disconnections on those defaulting on their water bills. The hope is that when people’s water is disconnected they will be at least forced to make a payment plan. The city has tried other less drastic measures in the part including threatening legal action and blacklisting both of which seem to have failed to elicit the desired outcome.

“I can confirm water disconnections for debts above $2 000 are taking place. The response is very encouraging, residents are coming to pay and making debt settlement arrangements.

Confirmation of the disconnectons by City spokesperson Michael Chideme.

According to the city council it is owed about $5 billion ZWL. However, residents claim that the city council is not actually sending its agents to their premises to do meter readings. Instead, it is relying on estimation which has led to the overcharging of some people while others are undercharged. The residents demanded that the city council should actually make meter readings and charge them fairly for usage.