By Michael Magoronga
Kwekwe City Council has suspended the rolling out of prepaid water meters after some anomalies were detected during a pilot project. The pilot project saw about 100 prepaid water meters being installed across the city for monitoring.
Speaking during a Media Institute of Southern Africa (Kwekwe chapter) meeting between journalists and councillors on Saturday, Kwekwe mayor Cllr Angeline Kasipo revealed that council reached the decision after some irregularities were discovered during the pilot project.
“I was advised by the management that the pre-paid water meters had some gaps therefore, for the time being, the project was being shelved whilst we look at how best we can go past the problem,” said Clr Kasipo.
She said chief among the shortcomings exposed by the pilot project was the non-availability of tracking device that alerts council when one is tempering with the meter.
“Most of the meters were not working according to the plans of Kwekwe City, I am advised. I am told the meters did not have a tracking device that notifies council officials in case one tempers with the meter. So it means a ratepayer can temper with the meter and by-passes council, perhaps goes for months without paying,” she said.
Kwekwe engaged about five different companies that installed prepaid water meters under the pilot project.
Clr Kasipo said it was also discovered that the water meters limited the ratepayers from conducting other chores like watering the garden.
“It does not allow the residents to conduct their business freely. A way forward is however still being worked out to see how best we can move forward,” she said. The prepaid water meter project had been tainted as the best way of recovering about $35 million owed to council by ratepayers. The Herald