Council engages debt collectors

GWERU City Council has engaged the services of debt collectors in a bid to recover money owed to it by defaulting ratepayers.

Stephen Chadenga

The cash-strapped municipality roped in law firm, Danziger and Partners, to collect the debts it is owed by residents.

A letter from the law firm seen by the Southern Eye dated November 19 2014 revealed that defaulting ratepayers were being asked to pay their dues and if they failed, their property would be attached.

“We have been instructed by our above client (Gweru City Council) to demand from, you as we hereby do, payment of the sum of $427,50 which is due in respect of rates and municipal services,” part of a letter sent to one of the residents reads.

“Unless we receive from you full payment of this amount through our offices within seven days of the date of the receipt of this letter . . . will result in attachment and sale of your property in execution of judgment.”

Despite writing off debts for institutions, commercial and industrial clients for the period July to December this year, the local authority is still owed $24 million by residents, the government and the business community.

Presenting the 2015 budget last month, city treasurer, Edgar Mwedzi said council continues to grapple with the problem of defaulting ratepayers, which he said was the biggest challenge in revenue collection.

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