Farmers, local authorities and Government institutions owe the Zimbabwe National Water Authority over US$100 million in unpaid water bills.
The water authority has been struggling to recoup the money since the introduction of the multi-currency system in 2009. Speaking at the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday, Zinwa public relations officer Mr Tsungirirai Shoriwa, said the authority would be able to operate at full capacity after consumers settled their accounts.
“There is no movement on the part of some of our clients and it is difficult to realise our goals. The amount we are owed is ballooning on daily basis,” he said.
He said it was also difficult for the authority to carry out maintenance of water infrastructure without a stable financial base.
Mr Shoriwa appealed to debtors to make payment plans with Zinwa.
“We allow payment plans and all we are saying is they should be honoured. “We understand that many organisations owe us huge amounts and cannot make a once off payment.
“Some of them complain that the bills we give them are too high but they should come for payment plans and those with queries should visit our credit control section,” he said.
He said some farmers were professing ignorance on why they should pay for water. “A lot of farmers are visiting our stands and are even asking why they should pay for water. But they should know that water is a finite resource which needs to be properly monitored,” he said.
Farmers, Mr Shoriwa said, should apply water permits for their farming activities while people with boreholes should register them.
“It is a legal requirement in terms of the Water Act. Prospective borehole owners and drillers should obtain authority. For those who fail to register, the Act has its penal code, meaning it is a criminal offence not to register,” he said.
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Zimbabwe: Zinwa Owed Millions in Unpaid Water Bills
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