chombo ignatius 3 25-08-10.jpgGovernment has reduced water charges and health user fees in line with local authority budgets, while availing funding to the tune of US$73 million to give impetus to the country’s service delivery system.

The Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Dr Ignatius Chombo said the directive will see fixed charges for domestic water consumption pegged at $5 in high density suburbs and $11 in low density areas.

1-20 cubic meter consumption thresholds have also been reduced from 30 cents to 25 cents in a move meant to cushion consumers of modest means.

The 50-100 cubic meter consumption band will be charged at $1 per cubic meter in an effort to curb excessive use of water.

Health user fees will see adults paying $5 from the existing $10, while children will pay $2 from the current $5 in all government and council clinics.

In hospitals, adults will have to pay $10 down from $20, while children will pay $5 down from $10.

Maternity fees have also been reduced from $50 to $25.

In striving to pursue policies that ensure that local authorities deliver excellent service to ratepayers, Dr Chombo said his ministry has conducted audits which have revealed that most local authorities are characterised by underperforming management systems, lack of commitment to public duty, siphoning of public funds by both management and councillors and gross mismanagement of general council affairs.

Local authorities run by MDC-T councillors have failed in service delivery, prompting the Minister to intervene due their corrupt tendencies.