Kwekwe residents cry over the increase in tariffs

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Partinella Ngozo

Kwekwe residents have castigated the City Council’s new tariffs that have been increased recently and vowed not to pay because the water bills are now unbearable for the majority.

A concerned resident Sarah Muzivingwa who spoke with this publication said that it would be difficult for them to fork out such a huge amount considering that most salaries are still stagnant and hence could not afford to pay such bills which they even rejected during budget consultations.

“I was shocked with the bills that I received imagine that my current bill was twelve thousand dollars surely I do not understand if our council is considerate at all they do not even take meter readings but claim such huge amounts from us residents. We are going to boycott paying bills considering that my pension salary is not yet increased I get RTGS2.200. I don’t think I will afford their bills,” she said.

Former Kwekwe City councilor Melody Chigarade said that the bill was rejected in her ward and as residents, the bills are so exorbitant.

“The bill from two thousand to fifteen thousand the money is too much and council should revise their bills this is just too much for ordinary people of Zimbabwe considering our economy,” she said.

Taurai Ncube a resident from Amaveni said that it is high time every resident rejects the bill since the council has refused to listen to their concerns during budget consultation meetings.

“I wonder why they come for budget consultation meetings when they don’t even listen to our pleas as people so I urge all citizens of Kwekwe to reject such rubbish from the council these people don’t even think of us we are going to boycott even their meetings,” he said.

Allegations from most residents are that the local authority meter readers are not doing their job. Moreover, everyone rejected this bill that the council is imposing on them. Patricia Mudoti an activist in Kwekwe said that the council should reduce these bills since most women are the ones who are breadwinners and are being affected by this bill which is so huge.

“In this bill council should consider that women are mostly the breadwinners and work in informal sectors. Where do we get money honestly worse my bill is $15 895 and my meter is not working at all council should stop estimating bills,” she said.

Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) Kwekwe Chapter Chairperson Rosewitter Matsveru said that Kwekwe City Council should urgently reduce their bills because they clandestinely increased tariffs without the approval of residents.

“As women’s movement, we appeal to the council to consider ratepayers since most citizens are unemployed and women are suffering to cater for basic needs since covid-19 worsened with most women working in the informal sector. Water remains a need therefore we are giving the council an ultimatum on Monday to reduce these bills since people rejected their bills during budget consultation meetings,” she said.

Furthermore, Matsveru stated that they are going to petition the Kwekwe City Council on this matter.

“We are at an advanced stage and we are going with a petition rejecting this bill because it’s affecting most women in Kwekwe and our survey reviewed that most women are saying no to this bill therefore KKC should understand us and reduce these bills,” she said.

Last year Kwekwe city had proposed to increase water tariffs but were forced to abort most of its consultative meetings after residents snubbed the process since it was poorly attended.

When contacted for comment, the Mayor of Kwekwe Future Titore refused to say anything on the issues as she sighted that she was busy and therefore could not provide any information.

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