By Munashe Nyakudya
Some Norton residents have vowed not to pay Norton Town Council (NTC) after their grievances against the new increased water charges were dismissed by the officials.
Norton is now charging nearly ZWL$190 per cubic metre for water.
The Council said it is buying the water at around ZWL$155 per cubic metre from Harare and feels the new charge is the proper one.
However speaking during a constituency meeting on Thursday some residents said the new charges were too steep for them and Council should revise them down.
“We are already facing difficulties as residents, why do we have such a high cost for water which also isn’t readily available.
“They should revise those figures otherwise we are not going to pay anything”, stated Eunice Matanga (55) from Ward 5.
Another resident, Anthony Makufa (67) added that they have been receiving some astronomical figures for water which do not correspond with their water usage.
“How does a normal family of two parents and three children get a water bill for ZWL$7000?
“It’s insane, the only solution since they have refused to revise the figures, is to boycott paying.
“After all what is the major difference, the water seldom comes”, he said.
Councilor Mutatabikwa, Ward 5, echoed the sentiments of the residents also questioning the purported usage as shown on the bills.
A Council official explained that there are multiple issues around water charges not correlating with usage and urged the residents to visit Council offices.
There has been a spike in various charges for Council services around most urban cities as authorities allege that they are seeking to operate viably in an economy that has essentially dollarized.
Council officials have argued that they are being paid ZWL$ or RTGS whilst the many services they offer require capital in foreign currency.
Harare has previously argued that companies that produce water treatment chemical need to be paid in US$ but the residents pay in ZWL$.
This, they said creates shortages which can only be covered by increasing charges for services.