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» » » » Masvingo residents protest pre-paid water meter reap off

 Pre-paid water meter

Moses Ziyambi

Some 140 residents who bought infill stands in Mucheke D Extension and were made to pay US400 each for pre-paid water meter installations are demanding refunds after Masvingo City Council failed to deliver, TellZim can report.

The aggrieved residents, who paid the money between 2017 and 2018, have since written to the local authority demanding that they be refunded because council installed regular water meters instead of the much more expensive prepaid ones that they paid for.

After representatives of the disgruntled residents frequented council offices to get redress, the local authority communicated that government’s decision to abandon its maligned belief in the false equivalence in the strength of the US and RTGS dollars had affected the project.

“Our provisional offer indicated that you would be connected to a prepaid water meter which had its cost factored into the cost of the stand. However, developments on the national monetary and fiscal policies resulted in significant increases in the cost of servicing the strands which Council felt could not be passed onto the beneficiaries.

“Furthermore, our plan to rollout the prepaid water metering scheme throughout the city was equally affected and was abandoned at tendering stage due to high costs and other technical considerations.

“Resultantly, it became uneconomic and unaffordable for council to install prepaid water meters on new stands without requisite software and hardware support. This led to a decision to install postpaid meters on all stands including yours,” council wrote to one of the stands owners in February.

The despondent residents, however, have demanded that council must prove the cost at which they purchased the installed postpaid water meters as they suspect that they were overcharged.

“Firstly, we would like to get a copy from your office showing the price of the postpaid meter. As far as we are concerned, your office is not being sincere to the people of Mucheke D infills. We are so sure that those meter are not worthy US$50. There is no transparency concerning those meters. It’s really disturbing for us to get something worthy US$40 or less whilst we paid US$400,” the affected residents wrote to council.

The letter was signed by many people including Daniel Bviuure Conrad Murambiwa, Tavengwa Maswera.

Though council is yet to respond, the residents have vowed to escalate their fight until what they consider to be a reap-off is reversed.

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