Residents confront Tsvangirai over prepaid water


Harare residents have confronted MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai accusing the main opposition party of abandoning people by embracing the highly pre-paid water meters.

BY Edgar Gweshe

The Combined Harare Residents’ Association (CHRA) wrote a letter to Tsvangirai on Monday querying why the party, which controls Harare City Council, had vacillated on its position to reject pre-paid water metres.

The development comes after MDC-T secretary for local government Eddie Cross wrote a letter to CHRA in which he highlighted his support for pre-payment of water. This was contrary to the previous sentiments from the party’s secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora that the party was against pre-paid water meters.

Mwonzora told a public meeting organised by CHRA in Harare last month that the MDC-T was against pre-paid water meters as they were anti-poor.

However, on April 25, Cross wrote to CHRA arguing that pre-paid water meters were the way to go as “nearly half of the revenue of all local authorities is derived from water sales”.

Cross, as part of his arguments, said that pre-paid water meters would give local authorities the opportunity to collect money from government institutions that have become notorious for non-payment.
CHRA, however, said in its letter to Tsvangirai that Cross was detached from reality.

“Cross argues for pre-paid water meters because nearly half of the revenue of all local authorities is derived from water sales. This point is self-contradictory. If local authorities are making so much money from the sale of water, why have they not invested in water infrastructure?” queried CHRA in the letter.

“Our reading is that there is no corresponding investment to rates paid by residents. The MDC must care to know that the City of Harare has not produced its audit reports since 2008 and yet they still expect people to pay rates.”

In the letter, CHRA shot down Cross’s argument that pre-paid water meters would lead to improved revenue generation by local authorities.

“There is no guarantee and we are not convinced that any increase in revenue will lead to an increase and improvements in water supply. There is a lot of naked corruption in local authorities, in particular, the City of Harare, which militates against effective and efficient delivery of services,” said the residents’ group.

“The MDC-T must be ashamed of itself for even raising this point considering that Harare and most urban local authorities are actually controlled by its councillors.”


  1. Are you surprised,it is the same MDC government that introduced toll gates and prepaid electricity meters. They just have no concern about the ordinary suffering povo. They act as if we are operating in a normal environment. Yes prepaid this and that would make sense in a normal economic environment where people can afford the costs, but not in our case. There are people who clearly cant afford paying for these basic services so should they go thisrty and foregore these basic human rights No No No MDC need to come to Zimbabwe. That is the reason why Zanu Pf says MDC is run from abroad.

  2. Don’t fool yourselves, it’s only ceremonial that mdc is in control of City of Harare, nothing changed ever since, those in influential positions are zanus. zanu does not relinquish power. If you say am lying check who is in control in all parastatals.

  3. What really is wrong with pre-paid water meters?In what way does it prejudice the residents?I need to be educated on this one because i thought it is actually a method which will make people to pay for what they use.We are doing it with electricity and it is working very well.It will even help us to save the water.We can all see that people do not have money and things are generally difficult but that is not the responsibility of the Council.There is a government in place and they are in a better position to address issues to do with the economy.I think CHRA is misleading the residents here. Unless these are people who do not want to pay their bills and hope that Chombo, in his bid to destroy the Urban councils revenue bases(for political reasons and not for the benefit of the people),will cancel all debts in 2018 just before elections.

  4. the cost of one cubic meter of water in the high density is 25 cents and one can consume up to 20 cubic meters at this rate.

  5. @ matida i demand to differ with you on the sense that there is a substitute or option to electricity in the form of firewood, parafin, candles, solar etc however there is no substitute to safe water.

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