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Kwekwe clarifies US$ billing system

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Kwekwe clarifies US$ billing system


Prisca Manyiwa-Masuku

KWEKWE – Kwekwe City Council has clarified its position on US$ billing system.
The Finance Committee chair Alex Senge has allayed fears widely held by residents that the local authority no longer accepts ZWL$ for payments.
“Nothing has changed in our billing system. We charge in US$ because that is the more stable currency but residents can pay in any other acceptable currency including the ZWL$ using the bank rate of the day.
“If your bill for example is US$51, we convert to ZWL$ using the bank rate of the day,” said Senge.
Residents and Rate Payers Development Association chairperson Alous Tinarwo Jakopo had expressed concern that the City Council is demanding US$ payments only.
“The economic situation in the country right now is tough. Household bills range between US$50 to US$80 and they are not affordable.
“As residents representatives, we ask management and our councillors to revisit their decision to pay in US$ and come up with a better arrangement,” said Jakopo.
Ward 9 Councillor Juda Chimombo suggested that the local authority embark on an awareness campaign for residents to understand and appreciate the billing system.
A female vendor Vongai Dhuro said council should have been considerate of people’s monthly earnings before taking up this initiative.
“US dollars are burdensome to some of us considering our monthly earnings, council should have considered that some of us do not have a meaningful monthly income we are mere vendors,” she said.
A female councillor Janet Ticharunga said, “Council needs a Public Relations personnel to inform residents about things like this explaining all the new initiatives that the council might introduce in a way that is easier for residents to understand. Without a PR personnel, the councillors should give an informative feedback to the residents in their respective wards telling residents on the advantages of the US$ billing, truly when you pay in US$ there is that US$ bonus component. For example my bill has US$43 but if I pay in United States Dollars I will pay 29US$,” said councillor Ticharunga.
Whatever their argument is, for me US$ billing is not fair for us, we need a council which is considerate and understands that we are facing economic challenges,” said a resident who declined to be named.

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