Beitbridge Municipality to unleash debt collector on defaulters
TWO NATIONS REPORTER
BEITBRIDGE- The Municipality of Beitbridge has resolved to engage a debt collector to recover ZWL$ 5 billion owed by defaulting ratepayers.
Municipality Finance Director Anymore Mbedzi confirmed the development in an interview with Two Nations.
Mbedzi said the debt collector will be selected after a tender process and should begin services before the end of the third quarter.
“We resolved to take the litigation measure in the first quota of this year to recover the money that we are owed. The measure will be implemented before the end of the third quota after following the tender procedures. The procurement process is underway,” said Mbedzi
He added that residential areas owe the local authority ZWL$2 billion, Government ZWL$740 million, Industry ZWL$700 million, whilst commercial business owes ZWL$600 million.
Low and medium-density residential areas owe the bulk of the residential areas’ debt. They only paid 14 and 10 % per cent of their rates, whilst the high-density areas paid 61 % of their rates.
“The low and medium density constitute the elite and educated who do not seem to bother themselves about bills and are not moved by soft enforcement that tries to make them pay the bills. When they see a council official with water bills at their gates, they either do not open for them or threaten them with their dogs. When we disconnect water at their houses, they do not come for reconnection and there is a risk that they do illegal reconnections. We are working on the installation of prepaid meters,” he said.
Mbedzi also said that the Municipality is checking illegal water connections and has put several measures as a monthly five 5% interest on overdue accounts. Payment of bills is cut off on 25 every month.