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City of Harare Moves to Recover $70million in Unpaid Rates

Harare Town House

By Michelle Chifamba

The City of Harare is taking measures to recover a significant debt of over US$70 million owed by residents and other customers, amid economic challenges that have affected many ratepayers. According to the Harare City Council Committee on Finance, the debt has accumulated due to non-payment of rates by residents across the city.

Councilor Coster Mande, a member of the Finance Committee, stated that the council is engaging various stakeholders and deploying additional staff to address the issue.

“We will take necessary measures, including engaging debt collectors, to reduce the debt bill,” he said.

The city has been struggling with its BIQ billing system, resulting in inflated water bills and payment challenges for residents. However, the council assures that it is working to establish a transparent and efficient system.

“We encourage residents to settle their debts and clear outstanding bills before we take action,” Councilor Mande emphasized.

The council acknowledges that the BIQ system has malfunctioned, causing inconvenience to ratepayers. Plans are underway to procure new computers to enhance service delivery and ensure transparency in the billing system.

The move comes in response to the government’s Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP), ‘A Call to Action; No Compromise on Service Delivery,’ which aims to modernize local authority operations. The Harare Residents Trust has noted water shortages and sewerage bursts in various suburbs, highlighting the need for effective service delivery.

Councilor Mande assured that the council is committed to implementing ERP for improved service delivery in Harare.

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