ZIMBABWE – Cash strapped Harare City Council is offering a 30% discount in 2016 for ratepayers who would have settled their bills by 31 December 2015 as the municipality tries to encourage debtors to pay up their bills.
Harare is owed $380 million by government departments, private entities and residents.
The local authority blames the economic situation which has led to poor service delivery.
City fathers are also failing to remit $180 million owed to ZIMRA and NSSA in tax retention and workers’ pension contributions.
“The council is awarding a 30% discount to rate payers for settling their rates and water bills for 2015,” reads part of the notice the municipality is sending to all defaulters.
“To qualify for the discount, ratepayers should have zero balance on 31 December 2015,” the notice further says.
The council has been attaching residents’ properties over unpaid charges of late. They have also been cutting water supplies to defaulting rate payers.
Residents who are resisting paying water bills say they are protesting huge and unjustified bills which don’t match poor service delivery by Town House.