Residents demand commission paid to Wellcash

HARARE - Harare residents are demanding back the 10 percent commission they paid to Wellcash Debt Collectors (Wellcash) for services it rendered to Harare City Council(HCC) in recovering its debts.

At a meeting in Mabvuku this week, residents claimed Wellcash was only receiving money and not remitting it to the HCC towards settling dues.

The refund demands come a week after Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni confirmed that the city had terminated its contract with Wellcash, arguing that the recovery methods employed were brutal, arrogant and largely targeting the lower income suburbs.

Wellcash insists the contract still subsists.

“Wellcash needs to remit the money that we paid them for our debts to council.

“Some of us are now old and we cannot afford to let such money slip away because we do not work.

“How else are we supposed to pay our debt when our money is locked up with Wellcash?” said Felicity Mambo, a resident.

Mabvuku councillor Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi told the residents that they should disregard any communication by Wellcash as their contract had been terminated.

He said no one should pay any more money to Wellcash but directly to the city to ensure the money they pay is accounted for and channelled towards serviced delivery.

“There is a full council resolution to the effect that Wellcash must be stopped.

“Residents must approach the district offices if they need to make payments.

“Those who owe large sums of money should also approach their district offices and make payment plans,” Kufahakutizwi said.

Combined Harare Residents Association chairperson Simba Moyo said since council terminated the contract with Wellcash, the debt collectors should return the residents’ money.

“There is a very high possibility that the money paid to Wellcash by residents will not be recovered easily. However, if that fails, we will take the legal route and sue the debt collectors for the money they took,” Moyo said.

According to ordinary minutes of a full council meeting that was recently held, the contract between the HCC and Wellcash was valid from November 15, 2016 to November 15, 2017.

“That subject to approval of resolution (1) above, the memorandum of Agreement between Harare City Council and Wellcash Debt Collectors (Pvt) Ltd regarding debt collection services be and is hereby terminated,” read the minutes.

The minutes also stated that after the contract termination, HCC would create an internal debt collection unit to undertake the city’s debt collection duties.

Latest figures indicate that HCC is owed in excess of $669,9 million by residents, companies, industry and business.

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