Loveness Bepete Chronicle Reporter
ENVIRONMENT, Water and Climate Minister Cde Savior Kasukuwere has said there is no going back on the government’s directive for local authorities to install prepaid water meters nationwide, despite residents’ objections to the initiative.The minister said water was a basic need which everyone has a right to, but people need to pay for it.
“People should pay for services so that they access clean, adequate water. If they do not pay, where will money to buy chemicals to treat the water come from?
“People are paying for their cellphones but they do not want to pay for services.
Some own more than one cellphone line and prepaid billing system is not a problem for them. They should pay for water services too,” said Cde Kasukuwere.
Bulawayo Mayor, Councilor Martin Moyo said the local authority was forging ahead with its plans to install prepaid water meters, but progress was being slowed down by funding challenges.
“We made a resolution to install prepaid water meters and it is our mandate to implement it. We are faced with financial constraints and so we will only implement the system where there are no water meters,” said the mayor.
Last week, hundreds of placard waving Bulawayo residents demonstrated against the intended move to introduce the prepaid water meters.
The residents also threatened to storm the municipality’s chambers if councillors proceed with the pre- paid project.
Clr Moyo said the protests, that he alleged were being led by residents associations, will not deter them.
“We cannot be threatened, we have a responsibility to govern, provide service to people and we will make sure we carry out our responsibilities,” Clr Moyo said.