Gweru councilors worry over estimated bills -The Southern Eye

GWERU city councilors on Thursday accused the council of defrauding taxpayers through estimated bills, saying this was discouraging residents from paying their bills.

During a full council meeting, Ward 6 Councilor Lovemore Choto said resistance to paying bills affected council revenue.

“The issue of estimated billing discourages residents from meeting their obligations,” Choto said.

“If residents do not pay, this consequently impacts council revenue streams and this obviously impacts service delivery.”

Ward 2 Councilwoman Faith Chuma agreed, saying some employees were not taking water meter readings and had a tendency to make estimates every month.

“Obviously, when the actual meter reading does not match the estimated bill, this discourages residents from trying to pay,” he said.

“Furthermore, some water meter readers are bribed by defaulters who would have been disconnected and these errant workers need to be punished.”

Finance committee chairman Hlupheko Marufu (Ward 7) urged residents with queries about their bills to approach the council offices.

“If residents have problems with the estimated bills, we urge them to make their own recordings or even photographs of the water meters and go to the council offices to resolve the issue,” he said.

Over the years, residents have been demanding itemized invoices from the council arguing that they (itemized invoices) are a true reflection of the amounts owed to the local authority.

Some residents have refused to pay their bills, arguing that the estimated bills are not what they owe the city.

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