MOST Bulawayo households had a dry festive season after the local authority embarked on a water disconnection blitz just before Christmas holidays to recover over $90 million it is owed in unpaid bills by residents.
Council spokesperson, Nesisa Mpofu defended the disconnections saying they were meant to encourage residents to pay up their bills.
BY TALENT GUMPO
She said the local authority was now inviting affected residents to visit council offices and negotiate payment plans to clear their debts.
“Residents are invited to visit municipal offices to individually discuss their bills before a payment plan if forged,” she said.
The local authority has also posted a notice on its Facebook page, urging residents to negotiate payment plans to avoid the inconvenience of going without tap water.
Part of the notice reads: “It is accordingly proposed that council enters into arrangements with interested consumers, where council will park the overdue debt and encourage payment of all current charges and instalments towards the parked debt religiously over an agreed period.”
Council said consumers who enter into payment plans will not be affected by water cuts.
“Consumers will be expected to commit to paying their current bills plus a portion of the arrears over an agreed period. Consumer accounts with arrangements that are honoured will not be disconnected or be subject to any debt recovery measures such as litigation.
“Once consumers have entered into the payment plan, accounts become interest-free, subject to further review.
Interest will be maintained on accounts where there is no agreement. In cases where there has been breach of agreement, interest will be reinstated.”