The festive season is meant to be a time of merry but Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has left its prepaid customers gnashing their teeth.
According to information shared on social media, customers with pre-paid metres were unable to top up with units as they kept being deducted arrears from top ups.
“Blantyre Water Board installed pre-paid metres in our Malabada residential area but since then we keep getting outstanding arrears every time we top up. The last time I paid before the prepaid meters it was in full and we have not received any invoice to say we have outstanding bills,” wrote one of the customers, Duncan Mlanjira.
He narrated his ordeal yet further: “The metre was installed on December 16. Old meter reading was 0120.9 and we were given volume 1.0 which was not explained that it was an Overdraft
“December 20: I paid K1,000 as a trial, VAT was K141, volume of water given was 1.10 at K858.37 it did not show that there was repayment debt.
“December 26: paid K2,000, VAT K56, and it showed repayment debt at K1,600, volume given 0.50 at K343.35
“December 28: replenished first with K3,000, deducted K2,400 and given volume 0.70 at K515.02, nine minutes later another payment of K3,000 was done and given 0.60 volume after deducting a further K2,400. On both transactions VAT was K84
“December 29 paid another K3,000 and given 0.70 volume after deducting K2,400 and VAT K84. Mind you, each transaction on Mpamba attracts fee of K200,” he wailed.
Mlanjira, posting on Facebook, said he had written the board’s spokesperson, Priscilla Bennie Mateyu, to inquire about the anomaly, but had been ignored.
Vincent Jumbe, commenting on the same post, said the board had credited him with close to two hundred thousand kwacha without any reasonable explanation.
“A MK180,000.00 bill was credited to my account after they installed their gadgets. Up today, they have not given me any explanation. And when you buy water credit, it is as if the credit is growing wings! Is it me alone experiencing this with the new system?” he commented.
From people commenting, it is understood the anomaly happened at every household where the prepaid billing system has been installed.
There was no immediate comment from the BWB.