A Borrowdale Ratepayers and Residents Association (BRRA) committee member has urged Harare residents to pay up their bills to facilitate service delivery.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
The City of Harare (CoH) has been blaming its incapacitation to deliver services on the non-payment of rates and service charges.
Council claims that it is owed more than Z$10 billion by ratepayers from individual households, businesses, Government departments and agencies, churches and institutions.
“Many have lost all faith and because they are not getting services, they feel they should not bother to pay their rates. In order for that mind-set to change it would be good to get water and waste collection at least. Of course, CoH say that if they don’t get paid, they can’t provide the services. Personally, I feel we all need to pay up to date and take it from there. In the meantime, we push for devolution,” said Mrs Pat Townsend.
Residents have been questioning council’s billing system and the local authority’s stance that residents should pay “to avoid disconnection of services”.
“Residents have been asking that in our case which services could they stop giving us? We have not had a drop of water for 16 years; the waste collection is once every two months if we are lucky. So, residents have been questioning and asking, ‘why should we continue to pay rates when we are not getting services?’,” added Mrs Townsend.
Council recently engaged debt collectors to recover its money from defaulters some of whom the municipality has described as “difficult” customers.
In a notice on its social media platforms, Harare City said the debt was choking its operations and affecting service delivery.
“Council is engaging debt collectors for difficult clients. This will enhance revenue collection and ensure all service consumers contribute towards service delivery,” said council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme.
Council said it is not targeting every debtor but those that have been reluctant to cooperate in the past.