Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

NCA oppose pre-paid water metres

By NCA Information and Publicity Department

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) rejects the publicised intention by the MDC-T run Harare City Council in tandem with the Zanu PF central government to introduce pre-paid water meters in the capital city by the end of the year.

Pre-paid water meters in Malawi (Picture by Nyasha Times)
Pre-paid water meters in Malawi (Picture by Nyasa Times)

The introduction of pre-paid meters is not only undemocratic but inimical to the enjoyment of the fundamental right of not only Harare residents but all Zimbabweans to access safe water.

While Greater Harare is already facing acute water shortages, prepaid water meters are not the solution to this problem. The real problem is the shortage of water and not the ability of residents to pay nominal charges for water that they utilize.

Related Articles
1 of 22

What is worrying is that instead of local authorities making sure that water is available, they now seek citizens to pay through the nose for dry taps.

Any implementation of the pre-paid water meters system is tantamount to the privatisation of a God-given natural resource such as water and must be totally rejected by residents of Harare and all Zimbabweans.

The introduction of pre-paid water meters, in our view, is a form of privatisation and undemocratic commodification of what ought to be an essential publicly funded service.

The real challenges lie in the lack of completion of key projects such as the Kunzvi Dam project which has been lying idle in the Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Water and the Ministry of the Local Government.

The HCC must not seek to pass on the costs of its failures to the poor residents and ratepayers of Harare who are in no way at fault for the water shortages that are prevalent. Pre-paid water meters will in the end be similar in failure to the electricity meters which were introduced by ZESA.

These pre-paid electricity meters have not eased the national electricity distribution crises. Instead, electricity is now scarcer than before.

The NCA urges all residents of Harare and those of other municipalities across Zimbabwe to refuse the implementation of prepaid water meters and insist on their right to clean water.