Govt,Industry, Individuals Owe Harare City Council Millions

The Harare City Council says it is struggling to recover over US$330 million that it is owed by defaulters.

The city fathers have come up with payment arrangements which are not yielding the desired results as residents and other defaulters are not forthcoming.

This has resulted in council failing to meet expected targets in terms of service delivery.

Harare City Principal Communications Officer Michael Chideme says those who owe the council include industry, government and residents.

“Residents are reluctant to pay and it is worrying. We are taking action as we cannot allow a situation where the irresponsible will ride on the backs of those who pay their bills,” Chideme said.

Chideme says the city fathers have resorted to taking legal action such as attaching properties, referring other debtors to the High Court as well as disconnecting water in residential areas and the central business district.

Combined Harare Residents Trust chief executive officer Mfundo Mlilo, however, says disconnecting water is violating resident’s trusts, adding that apart from economic challenges, residents need commitment from the city fathers who do not seem serious about service delivery.

“The manner of engagement by the city fathers is what is causing residents to default. They want to descent heavily on residents yet service delivery is poor,” said Mlilo.

Residents owe council about US$122 million while those using water for commercial purposes owing US$166 million.

Industry’s debt to council is about US$34 million, while government owes the council US$10.5 million.