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Anti Prepaid Water Meters March and Rallies Planned in Bulawayo

Civil Society Organisations in Bulawayo under the banner of the Right to Water Campaign shall be holding a 10 000 people march and rally on 4 September 2015 in protest against the move by the Bulawayo City Council to install prepaid water meters in city. The peaceful march shall begin at the Large City Hall at 12 noon, with marchers expected to make their way to Stanley Square in Makokoba where there shall be a rally with key civil society leaders giving solidarity messages around the issue of the right to water campaign.

Prior to the march and rally, there shall be twelve public meetings in each of Bulawayo’s twelve constituencies to mobilise residents to participate in the march and rally on 4 September. These rallies are scheduled for the weekend of 29 and 30 August in township halls in the various constituencies.

Right to WaterThe Right to Water Campaign is an initiative of Bulawayo CSOs that seek to advocate for adequate access to water for all residents of Bulawayo in the context of the move by the Bulawayo City Council to introduce prepaid water meters in the city. It is the conviction of the CSOs in the campaign that introduction of prepaid water meters does not augur well for the realisation of the right to water.

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Essentially therefore, the water march and rally are against the move by the Bulawayo City Council to install prepaid water meters in Bulawayo, not only without consultation of residents, but also despite the fact that residents have expressed their disapproval of the proposal.  Organisations that are participating in the campaign include the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA), the Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PPRIZ), Habakkuk Trust, the National Youth Development Trust, the Women’s Institute of Leadership Development (WILD), the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), Ibhetshu LikaZulu, the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Enterprises (ZCIEA), Sinjalo, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Abammeli Human Rights Network and Christian Legal Society.

The Right to Water Campaign began in 2014, with a demonstrations, public meetings and door to door campaigns against prepaid water meters held. However the Bulawayo City Council has been adamant that it is going ahead with the installations despite resistance by the people.

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