BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
GWERU City Council says it has shelved plans introduce prepaid water meters this year as the local authority is facing serious financial challenges.
Town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza said prepaid meters require a lot of money, which council could not afford since it was concentrating on buying water pumps.
“Prepaid meters are expensive, and it’s better that we concentrate on buying pumps for Amapongokwe Dam,” Gwatipedza said during a recent budget review meeting.
“We had planned to roll out the prepaid meters this year, but have now decided to indefinitely postpone the project. We will introduce them (prepaid meters) at the right time.”
This is the second time that council has had to postpone the introduction of the prepaid water meters.
In 2017, council postponed the rolling out of prepaid water meters, saying it needed more time to understudy the performance of other local authorities who had already introduced the gadgets.
Last year, the local authority had also indicated that it would roll out 38 000 smart water meters in a bid to maximise its water revenue collection and reduce the default rate on bills.
In a statement, Gweru Residents Forum, however, said it would resist the prepaid water meters because they “would exclude many from accessing potable water, while exposing residents to waterborne diseases such as cholera and