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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

HCC targets defaulting rate payers

HCC targets defaulting rate payers

Story by Tarirai Madhuyu

THE Harare City Council is issuing out summons to some ratepayers for non-payment of utility bills as part of efforts to recover about US$70 million it is owed by residents.

The development has, however, been met with a huge expectation for improved service delivery in the capital city.

In a public notice issued a few weeks ago, the local authority confirmed that it is owed millions in unpaid bills by residents in the capital city.

However, the Zimbabwe National Organisations and Residents Trust says summons should be accompanied by improved service delivery which the council has been failing to provide for years, while the council’s billing system needs an urgent relook.

“There is no way that we can tolerate such things. At the moment, the city council can neither collect garbage nor provide clean water to the residents. We are now pleading with the Government to intervene and bring relief to us. It has been long since the council started relying on estimated bills yet we need a proper billing system. We even suggested that we partner with HIT in coming up with such a system but they refused,” said the national chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Organisations and Residents Trust, Mr Shalva Chikomba.

“The people just want to steal from us. In the suburbs as well, sewer is flowing everywhere, exposing residents to diseases such as cholera and typhoid. It would be better if they could be smart and consult residents to come up with a sustainable solution. We cannot sit back and relax yet we see these people stealing from us,” said a member of Zimbabwe National Organizations and Residents Trust, Mr Svova Menard.

Between April 15 and 19, Harare City Council issued 1 000 summons to residents who failed to respond to final demands which had a 14-day notice period, and the council intends to increase the number to 2 000 per week.

Efforts to get a comment from the Harare City Council Public Relations Manager, Mr Stanley Gama were fruitless since his mobile phone went unanswered.

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