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Residents slam govt over prepaid water meters


BULAWAYO residents’ associations have condemned government’s proposal that local authorities should introduce prepaid water meters.Prepaid-Water-Meter-etched


The Environment, Water and Climate ministry reportedly instructed local authorities to introduce prepaid water meters in their respective cities and towns to increase revenue collection despite objections from residents.

Speaking to Southern Eye yesterday, Bulawayo United Residents’ Association (Bura) chairperson Winos Dube said burdening residents with prepaid water meters was not the solution.

“Water is a people’s right,” he said.

“If they install the prepaid meters, it means they are saying, for people to have water, they should have money.

“They should give the people water whether they have money or they do not have it.”

Dube said the government should put into consideration that water is life for the people before implementing what he described as inhumane policies.

“People need water for consumption, cooking, washing, drinking and many other purposes,” he continued.

“We should look at it before we burden the citizens with prepaid water meters.”

Dube advised the nation to contest the government’s proposal.

“Not only should the Bulawayo community contest, but everyone because it’s not only the people of Bulawayo affected,” he said.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) information manager Zibusiso Dube concurred with Bura that the prepaid meters were a burden to the citizens.

“We have been against the issue of the installation of prepaid water meters from day one,” he said.

“This is really a bad idea for a poor country like Zimbabwe, where most of the people are not employed.”

Dube described the ministry’s plan as very unfortunate, saying BPRA had researched on how the prepaid gadgets would affect residents.

“For the minister (Saviour Kasukuwere) to encourage the installation of prepaid meters is very unfortunate since we conducted research in Namibia and South Africa on how the gadget has affected residents in those countries,” he said. “The gadgets do not work well in poor countries.

“In Kwazulu Natal, people suffered from cholera and died as they had no money to purchase water. We really condemn this idea.”

Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo confirmed that they had received the directive and said residents should not resist such a move since there was need to improve revenue collection.

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