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It’s illegal for Harare City Council to cut water without a court order

The Harare City Council, which last year said it was owed $530 million in unpaid water bills by its customers, could be in a quandary again.

According to the Herald, the High Court has ruled that it is illegal for the council to disconnect water supplies to defaulting businesses and residents without a court order.

The council says it is going to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court.

It was taken to court by lawyer Tinofara Hove to stop the council from cutting off his water supplies after he had accrued a bill of $18 60.

Last year the council got a reprieve when the High  said it could disconnect water for defaulting residents without a court order provided it followed provisions of the Harare (Water) By-laws S.164/1913, which require that council gives 24 hours’ notice to affected parties before disconnections.

The council says some 80 000 residents have not been paying their water bills since 2013 hoping that the government will once again write them off ahead of next year’s elections as it did just before the 2013 elections.

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