Harare unleashes debt collectors to recover Z$14 billion

27 Oct, 2021 - 10:10 0 Views
Harare unleashes debt collectors to recover Z$14 billion Town House


Suburban Reporter

THE City of Harare has unleashed debt collectors to ensure ratepayers pay their bills and enable the municipality to fund service delivery.

In a statement, council said it recently set up a debt collection blitz team headed by Mr Jabulani Duve after realising that some debtors needed direct interface to pay up.

The City of Harare is presently owed ZWL$14 billion, which it says has crippled its capacity to fund services, although some ratepayers query the figure given the municipality’s shambolic billing system and the continued billing for non-provided services mainly water and refuse collection.

“Failure or delays in retiring the debt is adversely affecting funding for service delivery. All debtors are therefore urged to be paid up and in situations where they cannot pay up at once, payment plans are advised. Council is committed to providing top class services provided resources are made available,” read the statement.

The local authority also advised that it will deface all billboards that have not been paid for while illegal ones and unapproved direction signs will be pulled down.

Council said it is illegal to erect billboards or any structure within the city without a permit and approved plans.

“Council has opened a window to regularise some billboards provided the owners (pay) the stipulated fines and lease fees. Advertising companies with billboards are advised to settle their debts and avoid removal of the advertising signage.”

According to the statement, the municipality is also auditing occupancy of its residential and commercial properties and occupants not paying rentals will be evicted.

“Part of the audit verifies lease ownership. Council will offer leases to sitting tenants. The city has so far issued letters of final demands to tenants. At least 277 eviction notices have been sent to tenants in Glen Norah and Highfield who owe council ZWL$82,8 million.”

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