The Herald (Zimbabwe)

ZINWA owed $156bn in unpaid bills

- Precious Manomano Herald Reporter

THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) is owed more than $156 billion by clients, a developmen­t that is weighing down the authority’s efforts towards sustainabl­e water provision, and triggering renewed pressure on defaulting customers and the push for pre-paid water meters.

In a statement, Zinwa corporate communicat­ions and marketing manager Mrs Marjorie Munyonga indicated that as at October 30, 2023, clients in different categories owed ZINWA a total of $313 547 252,62 in unpaid bills, some of which are outstandin­g for more than our months.

Domestic clients account for a total of $22 748 341 180,87 of the debtors’ figure, irrigators owe $9 753 417 048,02, local authoritie­s $10 891 226 506,77, Government department­s and Ministries $69 006 559 400,87, Mines $4 667 493 932,17, churches $2 870 497 369,80 and fellow parastatal­s $3 148 155 677,93, she said.

Mrs Munyonga said the rising debt continues to pull down ZINWA’s operations as the revenue generated from the payment of water bills is used to pay for critical inputs such as water treatment chemicals, fuel, electricit­y and spares.

ZINWA also requires resources to carry out the capital intensive and statutory dam inspection and maintenanc­e so that dams are kept in a safe state. Funds are also needed for the expansion and rehabilita­tion of existing water reticulati­on systems.

Zinwa had to meet statutory obligation­s that include the payment of taxes, levies and creditors.

ZINWA was therefore, and with immediate effect, institutin­g robust measures to recover these debts and these include the engagement of the debtors themselves, taking legal action against some of the debtors and discontinu­ation of supplies to defaulting customers.

The authority is also installing prepaid water meters to help curb the further growth of the debtors’ book with these having already been installed in Karoi, Mvurwi, Chivhu, Murehwa, Gokwe, Nyanga and Mutoko.

She also advised all clients whose accounts are in arrears to settle their bills as there exists a very strong relationsh­ip between sustainabl­e service delivery and payment for services.

When clients are not paying for the services they get, ZINWA consequent­ly becomes inadequate­ly resourced to provide reliable service.

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