THE Combined Harare Residents’ Association (CHRA) last Friday pleaded with main opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to order his councillors in the main cities to stop the proposed installation of pre-paid water meters in residential areas.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The plea was made by CHRA director Mfundo Mlilo while making his address during Workers’ Day celebrations organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions at Gwanzura Stadium in Harare.
“Workers are burdened already and we are saying no to pre-paid meters – and we demand to know where local authorities are getting that policy from because workers are saying no to it,” Mlilo said.
“If councillors are supporting prepaid meters, we want to remind them that the 2018 elections are coming and they obviously will need votes then,” he said.
Mlilo added: “I want to plead with Tsvangirai, who is present here, to speak to his councillors in a quest to bring sanity regarding the issue of prepaid meters.”
Recently at a public discussion organised by CHRA on prepaid water meters, opposition National Constitutional Assembly spokesperson Maddock Chivasa accused MDC-T councillors in Harare and Bulawayo of failing to object to plans by local authorities to introduce prepaid meters in residential areas.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora refuted the accusations saying the pre-paid meter programme was the brainchild of Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and not his party.
But, some residents claimed that privatisation of water was an idea mooted during the inclusive government era.
Installation of pre-paid meters is said to have serious consequences for poor people with no income who cannot afford to pay for water in advance.