DESPITE massive resistance from residents, the Masvingo City Council (MCC) has advertised tenders for the supply of prepaid water meters in a development that signals the roll-out of the programme.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
In an advert flighted in a local weekly last week, (Tender number 26/2018), MCC has opened bids for the supply, delivery and installation of water meters.
“The City of Masvingo invites bids for supply, delivery and installation of prepaid smart water meters, associated connections and meter management systems. Tender documents can be obtained from the city treasurer’s office, rates hall, Civic Centre offices during office hours as from May 18, 2018,” part of the advert read.
The announcement has drawn the ire of residents, with pressure group, Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers’ Alliance MURRA), saying they will oppose the move.
“We have always said no to water meters and our position remains. Maybe they should roll-out the programme to government departments where the council is owed $20 million. Water is a fundamental human right and if the council wants to implement to residential areas, we will resist them vigorously,” MURRA spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba said.
Although residents objected to the move, the city council, in the latest council minutes, said water meters was the only effective way of revenue collection for water bills after disconnecting water to defaulting residents had failed as a method.
“Concern was raised that the council system of disconnecting water was not effective since a majority of residents were tampering with stop cock to access the water.
The treasurer, Thandiwe Dube suggested that council should introduce prepaid water meters in the whole city. The idea was accepted by the finance committee and seconded by ward 2 councillor Garcia Mundondo,” the report read.
“The city treasurer be instructed to work out modalities of installing prepaid water meters in the whole city covering commercial, industrial, institutional, low and high density residential properties. It should be noted the project would be rolled out in high density residential areas in phases, soon,” the minutes read.