Government has blasted the Harare City Council for operating without a budget and a water billing system.

This comes after the local authority temporarily shut down Morton Jaffray Waterworks, leaving the capital with no running water this Tuesday.

The Acting Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Ziyambi Ziyambi has lambasted the Harare City Council for causing the water woes which led to the closure of the main water treatment plant.

“I am extremely concerned over the water situation in Harare. The shutdown is a result of the council’s poor running of the city. They are operating without a budget. They are charging sub-economic tariffs for water. Apart from that, they have no water billing system and this has seen only a few consumers paying bills even without being requested to so,” said Ziyambi.

Government has since moved to set up a technical committee which will monitor the implementation of a close to ZWL40 million bail out meant to improve the water situation.

“Government has placed stringent conditions to the fund. A committee has been set to monitor the water development project, while a number of interventions to expedite the movement of water chemicals have been put in place. Government is clearing its outstanding debt to the council and it has assigned officials to assist council produce its 2019 budget. It has also facilitated priority clearance for chlorine gas from South Africa to ensure water is readily available to residents,” he added.

Out of 32 urban local authorities, Harare has been singled out as the worst, with authorities failing to put in place an efficient water provision system and deliver on election promises.

Harare residents have also been blamed by government for not paying what they owe the city council with the debt now close to a billion dollars. – ZBC