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Mutare council to install pre-paid water meters


MUTARE City Council is considering installing pre-paid water meters in a move set to increase its revenue base, the city engineer has said.


In an interview on the sidelines of a tour of water projects by the Germany Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ullrich Kloeckner, Mutare mayor Tatenda Nhamarare and other senior council officials yesterday, city engineer Donald Nyatoti said the move will be very beneficial to the eastern border city.

“We need to replace the old meters that we have. We are actually pursuing installing pre-paid meters,” Nyatoti said.

“It’s an option we are pursuing, but no decision has been made so far concerning that. I hope they will be very useful in terms of managing cash flow both on the part of the consumer and the city.”

Nyatoti said enquiries have since been made from suppliers on the technology and the possibility of acquiring the pre-paid meters.

However, such a proposal in Harare was met with stiff resistance as residents and other stakeholders said with the poor performance of the economy at this stage, it was improper to have pre-paid meters.

The Mutare water project involving the duplication of pipes from Christmas Pass to different suburbs started more than a decade ago, but was stalled by financial challenges.

According to Nyatoti, Zinwa took over in 2006, but handed back the project to the city in 2009 without meaningful progress made.

The city produces about 75 000 mega litres of water a day, but 53% of that amount cannot be accounted for.

“We are billing 47% of the total amount mainly because the meters are not working well,” Nyatoti added.

He said the city requires about $800 000 to complete the much awaited project that he said was almost 90% complete.

The Germany Ambassador promised to work closely with the city and identify critical areas where they could intervene.

He also promised to work on improving relations between Zimbabwe and his country.

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