Harare mayor vindicates calls for debt audit

After strenuous efforts to fight for the rights of residents, the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) welcomes the move by Harare Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni to order acting Town Clerk, Josephine Ncube to suspend the operations of Wellcash Debt Collectors (Pvt) (Ltd) who have been wreaking havoc in residential areas.

Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni

In giving his order, Mayor Manyenyeni acknowledged that the debt recovery methods by Wellcash Debt Collectors were brutal and that the Harare City Council has “little moral ground to demand these amounts from suffering residents when our cost structure is far from satisfactory”.

He further highlighted that it was unfair to squeeze money from suffering residents in order to allocate 70 percent of that money to salaries at the expense of service delivery.

More importantly, Mayor Manyenyeni highlighted that the correctness of the outstanding debts to council is contested for a significant number of the rate payers who were targeted by Wellcash Debt Collectors.

In essence, Mayor Manyenyeni has vindicated long held calls for a debt audit as most residents in Harare are being charged high amounts which are based on estimates.

His assertion amplifies the call for a debt audit that will establish the correct amount residents owe to council thus ensuring that residents are not robbed of their hard earned cash as has been the case.

It is quite regrettable that despite the fact that most of the debts residents were reported to owe council were highly questionable, a huge number of residents lost their property and money when the Harare City Council enlisted the services of Wellcash Debt Collectors.

We therefore take this opportunity to demand a debt audit that will culminate in debt justice.

CHRA applauds the acknowledgment by Mayor Manyenyeni that residents who are not receiving council water are being charged for water consumption.

In this regard, CHRA calls upon responsible authorities to implement and respect a 2014 council resolution to the effect that residents who have not received water from the years preceding 2014 must not be charged fixed water charges.

We note with concern that residents in areas like Ward 19 in Mabvuku last received council water as far back as 1994 but fell victim to the illegal operations of Wellcash Debt Collectors.

After the declaration by Mayor Manyenyeni, CHRA will fight to ensure that residents who were robbed of their property and hard earned cash are compensated.

On another note, CHRA urges Harare City councilors to support the noble initiative by Mayor Manyenyeni in light of spirited efforts from some quarters to disregard the Mayor’s directive.

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Post published in: Economy