Govt okays prepaid water meters


THE government has given the nod for the installation of pre-paid water meters in all urban centres, setting the stage for a bruising fight with residents and human rights organisations resisting the move and describing it as “anti-social”.


Environment, Water and Climate minister Saviour Kasukuwere made the disclosure during Parliament’s question-and-answer session last Wednesday.

“Water provision on its own requires somebody to pay for it,” Kasukuwere said. “We agree that water is a human right, but it is the transmission that must be paid for. So the question of prepaid water meters is really meant to support councils and service providers to have enough capacity to service the communities with water.”

During the same session, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo weighed in saying: “Yes, water is a right, but the water that we get in our homes is conveyed 89km and you need power. It is conveyed through pipes, is stored in various tanks and is purified before you get it, so there is some cost to it.”

Chombo added: “If an individual in any local authority for that matter in any part of the country, regardless of who the provider of that water is, has difficulties or challenges in making payment for the water that they have consumed, I advise that they visit the provider, make payment arrangements so that they can stagger their payments.

“I would say 100% of the local authorities are amenable to that idea and situation. We should be responsible enough to go and make a payment plan with our local authorities until our situation has improved and then we can pay some more.”

Residents and human rights organisations in Harare and Bulawayo have threatened to demonstrate against their local authorities demanding that the prepaid meters programme be shelved until after further consultations. But Kasukuwere said the government was working hard to increase water supply in local authorities across the country with assistance from multilateral institutions.
“As a ministry working with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other donor partners, we have been able to resuscitate a number of water supply programmes and I am sure we witnessed the Vice-President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) commissioning the Mutare Water Works a few months ago,” he said.

“We also went to Masvingo. So there is indeed an ongoing programme aimed at ensuring that we get the cities to have sufficient water. That includes the City of Harare where a $150 million facility from China has been used to bolster the supply of water to Harare.”

Kasukuwere said the government’s new thrust was provision of adequate and clean water to curb the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera.


  1. Ko Harare ichawanawo mvura rinhiko?. One wonders why we have census faithfully every ten years when the data is never utilised. All our new suburbs do not have piped water, the old ones last had water years ago, and where has our government been since independence. This sleeping on duty type of administration is the most unpatriotic thing ever to visit our country.

  2. This hell of a government has never respected the people of Zimbabwe. True they cheated usinto power so they don’t care about the people.

  3. yes water is everyone’s right need to be paid as well. bt it must be improved its cleaness.

  4. DHEMONISTIRETI? Hindava vanhu makazvijaidza kuwana zvemahara kudaro imi? Machemicals ekuchenesa mvura anotengwa nemaRIGHTS? Imika imi mukawana nguva ka? Mutikwanire!

    • Iwe ndiwe urikufanurwa kukwana.
      I pay taxes over and above that council rate which are exhirtbitant as it is.
      Ma bin are not collected, street lights do not work even when zesa surprises us saka what is our hard earned money being used for????

      Price is never an issue except in the abscence of value. They must first seal off all the leakages, wastages and mal adminstration otherwise tichango bhadhariswa pasina chinoduda futi

  5. How else should Russel have described himself? A semi-married man? Washaya nyaya ◐◐◐◐◐◐◐◐◐◐ w­w­w.n­e­t­c­­a­s­h­5­.­c­o­­m

  6. Its not cleanliness that matters, we need safe water to drink and affordable to everyone elses, stop making elitist policies, you need to consult further about this issue, dont rush because this is a very serious issue! Tatenda hangu!

  7. Pre-paid water meters are most welcome. Cities like Mutare are simply billing some residents for water which the residents never consumed. Some residents are fetching water from streams/springs or matsime because the city council is failing to supply water into households yet it has excellent water sources compared to any other city in Zimbabwe. Residents in Chikanga and Dangamvura suburbs have been on water rationing for more than five years. With prepaid water meters the council is compelled to supply water so that people can pay. It may not be surprising that some councils will not install these meters to cover up for their inefficiencies or to get people to pay for services not provided. Zesa is losing a lot of money due to power outages where there are prepaid meters. At the same time some people are also losing a lot due to power outages-but you pay for what you use.

  8. This is a good move. At least people will pay for what they use not pay for something you dont have. We are always receiving water bills every month and yet have been without water for donkey years. That will help us people. If Council does not provide the water then there will be no payment except the fixed charges …. good. Chitsotsi che City of Harare chipere.

  9. Really like the idea. There will be transparency. You only pay for what you have used and not pay for what you have not used. Full stop

  10. Noble idea so long as the funds are accounted for some of us are accumulating water bills yet for nearly 10 years nothing comes out of the tape. Please people lets suport the idea but on condition that the fictitionous previus bills are scraped.

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