BY SILAS NKALA
INACCURACIES in Bulawayo City Council billing system, which have resulted in some ratepayers receiving astronomically high water bills, have riled residents.
This was revealed in the latest council report by the finance and development committee.
Councillor Rodney Jele told a recent full council meeting that he was concerned about the inaccuracies in the billing system.
“(Councillor Rodney Jele) urged the department to clear up the bills and complete the reversal of the inaccurate and high bills. He further requested that the Financial Services director should engage all councillors on the billing system so that they can explain it to residents,” the minutes read.
“Councillor Silas Chigora encouraged residents to take note of their monthly bills, how much water they consumed and what they expected to pay. The residents with queries should raise them with their nearest housing office,” the minutes read.
The meeting also heard that some residents did not know that new budget charges were being implemented.
Many Bulawayo residents have been complaining over hefty bills they were receiving, especially during the months of April and May.
They accused council of stealing from committed ratepayers.
One resident said he never missed a single month in terms of paying his bills, but after paying $7 200 in April, he got a $10 000 bill in May.
Other residents claimed they received bills amounting to over $20 000 yet no council workers had visited their homes for meter readings.
“I am very disappointed with the level of confusion and unfair practices by council. Those in positions of authority must look into this and resolve it as a matter of urgency. We as residents have a right to pay what is due to us. We should not be forced to pay for inaccuracies,” one irate resident said.
Early this year, the council announced rates increases ranging from 150% to 626% following approval of the local authority’s $28,8 billion 2022 budget.
Despite the huge rates bill to residents, the council is currently struggling to provide efficient services.
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