Bulawayo residents have received with dismay reports that the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is in the process of getting residents who exceeded their daily water limits arrested and prosecuted. According to the reports, this is meant as a measure to conserve water as the city’s water supplies have dwindled following the low rainfalls recorded last rainy season. It is reported that a list of such defaulters has been compiled and would be handed over to the police for arrest and prosecution.
Residents say that this move by BCC is a sign that the local authority has lost touch with reality and lacks any sense of morality. They argue that it is ironic that the city fathers find it prudent to get defaulting residents arrested despite the fact that it itself has not been faring well in its quest to provide services. While BCC is quick to act on defaulting residents, firstly disconnecting residents with outstanding water bills and now seeking to get them prosecuted, it is slow to improve service delivery in the city, with roads full of potholes, sewage flowing in the streets, rubbish piling up in street corners and hundreds of households without access to clean drinking water. Besides, it boggles the minds of residents how prosecuting and arresting residents who exceeded their water limits will serve to conserve water. How will it bring back the water that has already been used?
While Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) acknowledges that prosecuting defaulters may serve as a deterrent for residents to exceed their limits in future, the association believes that BCC does not have the moral standing to initiate such a process in light of its own failures and shortcomings. BPRA thus calls upon the local authority to come up with alternative measures to conserve water and deal with defaulting residents. For instance, BCC could engage in an awareness campaign on the importance of water conservation. It is the association’s contention that the penalties for exceeding daily limits suffice as a deterrent for exceeding the limit. BPRA believes that the move by BCC to prosecute residents will only serve to create animosity between residents and the local authority, which could prove to be retrogressive.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association
Bus. Tel: +263 9 61196
Cell: +263 772 516 729
Posted by BPRA Information Department