Harare water under threat

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HARARE’S water is under serious threat as the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) is owed more than US$114 million by ratepayers and is failing to procure critical water treatment chemicals, spares and equipment for its operations.

Hazel Ndebele

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Marjorie Munyonga said the non-payment of bills by government, local authorities, farmers, mines and private consumers is adversely affecting the authority and threatens operations.

“Zinwa is owed more than US$114 million and the authority now has to operate on a very tight budget due to lack of funds. It has also failed to meet its statutory obligations such as taxes, salaries and levies,” said Munyonga.
Munyonga said Zinwa was engaging its debtors, including government, to ensure they meet their obligations.
She also said the authority was disconnecting water supplies to defaulting clients while also using the legal route in some cases.

To minimise revenue leakages and ensure that service continues, Munyonga said Zinwa had acquired a state-of-the-art electronic billing system.

The authority has also introduced a rigorous and robust set of internal controls to ensure all revenue collected and receipted, either electronically or manually, is accounted for.

Asked why Zinwa was still using hand written receipts, Munyonga said: “Handwritten receipts are only issued in limited cases such as when a client wants to make a payment and there is no power at the station. The client cannot be turned away and will thus be issued a handwritten receipt.

“The second case is when clients pay to our mobile revenue collection teams that go out every month. However, these handwritten receipts will be captured, without delay, into our electronic system once power is restored at the station, or when the mobile revenue collection teams get back to the office.”

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