HomeLettersUtility bills have now spiralled out of control

Utility bills have now spiralled out of control

HAS anybody noticed how the Harare City council utility bills have spiralled out of control?

The bills, in my humble view, have become a serious threat to national security and well being.  How on earth can we foot those bills given our very humble incomes? After weathering the tumultuous economic downturn of the last decade, most Zimbabweans had enjoyed some relief after dollarisation and had some buying power. However, these utility services providers –– among them Zesa –– seem bent on reversing those gains.

To be frank, I am yet to see a city council meter reader at my home and a lot of my friends and associates also say the same. Yet the amounts that they demand are outrageous to say the least. I recently moved in to my current abode and I discovered that the former tenant had left a bill of US$500.

He agreed to pay the bill with US$100 installments every month. Coupled with what I pay as well –– around US$30 per month –– I thought the arrears would be paid up in no time. Strangely enough in spite of these payments the bill continues to balloon and last time I checked it was at around US$900.

What is amazing about all this is the fact that the two occupants of the house all go to work during the week. This means that water is only used in the morning and evening. Added to this we do not water the garden or the lawn. We actually do not have a hose pipe and so our water use is restricted to bathing and then washing clothes on weekends.

It is from this standpoint that one questions how our water bill continues to balloon when it should be disappearing.

As a sensible citizen it is my firm belief that the council should get what is due to them in terms of the services they provide but I also have my limits.

Considering the nature of my living conditions I would venture to say that US$40 per month is more than enough as payment.

As a ratepayer I am now disillusioned by the modus operandi of the council. It is as if they are there to rip us off instead of serving the city. I have resolved to pay at most US$40 even if they send their ridiculously astronomic bills.

Regis Dube,
Westlea, Harare.

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