NEW: ZINWA owed $256bn, to take legal action

20 Feb, 2024 - 12:02 0 Views
NEW: ZINWA owed $256bn, to take legal action ZINWA corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Munyonga said the huge debtors’ bills was affecting effective and smooth service delivery

The ManicaPost

 

Hazel Chitepo
Post Reporter

 

IN a move aimed at recovering the $256 billion it is owed by defaulting clients in unpaid water bills, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has resolved to take legal action against them and in some instances carry out disconnections.

 

ZINWA said it faces hitches in meeting its statutory obligations such as paying taxes as well as providing quality and uninterrupted service when clients fail to pay up in time owing to inadequate resources to cater for costs covering water treatment chemicals, electricity, fuel and spares.

 

The water authority supplies the precious liquid to domestic users, businesses, farmers, Government departments and other parastatals.

 

In a statement yesterday, ZINWA head of corporate communications and marketing manager Mrs Majorie Munyonga said the huge debtors’ bills was affecting effective and smooth service delivery.

 

“ZINWA is currently owed in excess of $256 billion in unpaid water bills by various consumers, a development that has seriously compromised the authority’s capacity to provide sustainable service. The situation has adversely affected ZINWA’s ability to efficiently excute its mandate as the authority needs critical inouts such as electricity, fuel, water treatment chemicals and spares required for uninterrupted service delivery,” said Mrs Munyonga.

 

Ms Munyonga said Government departments were among the debtors with the most outstanding bills stretching over a four-month period.

 

“Of this amount, domestic clients owe a total of $29 836 260,15, while Government ministries and departments account for the biggest chunk of the debtors’ book at $132 481 369 169,68. Irrigating farmers are the authority’s second largest debtor, owing $53 765 173 087,36 and followed by local authorities whose debt stands at $16 152 616 447, 17. Mines owe a total of $7 788 101 782,14 while parastatals account for $6 215 575 906,75” she said.

 

As part of efforts to recover what it is owed, Mrs Munyonga said ZINWA is taking legal action against debtors and urged them to clear their outstanding bills.

 

She said: “In order to curb further growth of the debtors’ book and to ensure continued service, ZINWA has instituted a raft of measures to recover the outstanding amounts through engaging defaulting clients, taking legal action against some clients and as a last resort disconnecting those in arrears. ZINWA is encouraging clients who may have difficulties settling their water bills to approach their nearest offices and present acceptable payment plans.”

 

She added that the water authority will also be implementing stop order arrangements on farmers to recover its revenue when farmers sell their produce.

 

“The authority is, therefore, appealing to all irrigation farmers to ensure that their water use is in terms of valid water abstraction agreements and that they take advantage of the existing stop order arrangements, ZINMWA reiterates that there is a correlation between paying for water and service delivery,” said Mrs Munyonga.

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