Harare names and shames debtors as unpaid rates top $700mln

Harare names and shames debtors as unpaid rates top $700mln

HARARE, September 15 (The Source) –The City of Harare on Friday named and shamed some companies and organisations that are not paying rates, with the unpaid rates topping  $700 million, compromising service delivery.

The list of debtors published on Friday includes stock exchange listed firms — Dawn Properties and Meikles Hotel, churches like Anglican, Celebration, Seventh Day and Apostolic Faith Ministries, schools, colleges and estate agents.

“The city is owed over $700 million by various debtors. These organisations and other debtors should come with payment plans, failure which legal action that includes surrendering them to our debt collectors will be taken,” said the City.

The local authority said efforts to engage the debtors have been fruitless.

“From now on, we will publish the list of debtors as efforts to recover what council is owed,” the city said.

City Council spokesperson Michael Chideme told The Source by telephone that the City of Harare had enlisted the services of a debt collector, Well Cash, to recover money owed to it by residents.

In his state of the City address made in April, Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said since the debts write off in 2013, some accounts have not been serviced yet the very same people expect potable water and an efficient refuse collection system.

Resultantly, the Council has been struggling to pay workers salaries on time and at one time the arrears accrued for seven months.

Residents associations have, however, accused the city fathers of milking council coffers dry by paying themselves hefty salaries and allowances.