Council to name, shame bigwig debtors

HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC) is considering naming and shaming prominent residents who are not settling their ballooning rates and rentals arrears.

This comes as the local authority is owed $600 million-plus by residents, industry and the government.

In the latest council minutes, HCC’s finance director Tendai Kwenda said while debt collections from residents had improved, some debtors were reluctant to pay.

“During discussions with councillors from the finance committee, they raised concern that council had to also consider naming and shaming of some prominent people,” he said, adding that “Responses from industry and commercial properties were rather poor in comparison with domestic properties due to closure of most companies”.

The finance director said to ensure effective collection, HCC-hired debt collectors had undergone induction exercises on how to deal with the different economic demographics in society.

Kwenda said council was also reconsidering the 10 percent commission being paid by ratepayers to the debt collectors due to mounting complaints.

“As debt collecting has become topical, we need to ensure that complaints regarding bills and services from residents are adequately addressed, hence the need to make sure that all payments made to debt collectors are reflected on all bills,” he said.

The HCC-contracted debt collectors have so far recovered more than $5 million in revenue.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme has said they will continue using the debt collectors because revenue collection figures were showing marked improvement.

He said disengaging the debt collectors would only be done after a full council resolution, as per council standing orders and rules.

“The debt collectors are proving to be very effective. Collection figures vary from week to week and according to residents pay dates.

“In some weeks it can be $50 000, while in others it can go up to more than $200 000,” he said.

To assist in debt recovery, HCC also bought 25 vehicles at more than $21 000 apiece, a move residents felt was ill-planned and unnecessary.

Comments (1)

You can go ahead and name them HCC but i dont think they will be ashamed its not in their DNA otherwise with the rot that is Zimbabwe today they would have long resigned.

Sinyo - 26 April 2017

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