By Sydney Gokomere
Gweru, November 04, 2016 – CITY authorities have warned residents to be on the lookout for conmen who have, past few weeks, duped unsuspecting rate payers of different amounts of money while pretending be council employees and agents collecting outstanding rates on the authority’s behalf.
An Ascot resident, one Constance Mariko told RadioVOP this past week she was approached by three men who claimed to be council workers who had come to collect some outstanding water bills.
Mariko parted with $20 but later discovered she had been duped.
“They produced a fake receipt book and said they were conducting door to door collections but only discovered it at town house that there were no records of any payment made by me to the local authority,” she said.
James Chiseko of Mambo suburb said this week two men attempted to make him pay for water bill arrears but when he demanded that they go together to verify at council administration offices, the two fraudsters disappeared.
Authorities have since confirmed that an increasing number of ratepayers have approached council with fake receipts “confirming” payments after they had been duped by thieves.
Acting town clerk, Edgar Mwedzi warned residents and clients from making payments to individuals saying they should only settle their bills through designated points and official systems.
“It has come to our notice that there are unscrupulous conmen masquerading as city of Gweru employees and agents demanding payment for various services offered by the city of Gweru from residents or tenants on city of Gweru properties,” Mwedzi said.
“Residents and all clients are therefore warned that they should ensure all payments are made direct to council revenue halls or direct transfers to city of Gweru bank accounts.”
Mwedzi said the only exceptions are municipal workers who collect cash on a daily basis from parking bays.
He said residents should use council administration centres in Mkoba 6 and 16, Lower Gweru road, Senga and Civic centre.