ABSOLUTE NONSENSE!. . . residents denounce council’s USD move

11 Mar, 2022 - 00:03 0 Views
ABSOLUTE NONSENSE!. . . residents denounce council’s USD move Precious Shumba


Rest Mutore

RESIDENTS have expressed outrage over an announcement by Harare City Council that it would convert their debts into United States dollars.

Council, in a statement on Twitter yesterday, gave defaulters a three-month ultimatum, to settle their debts.

HCC, who claim to be owed US$17 billion, said failure to pay, or make a payment plan, would see residents having their debts converted into foreign currency, at the interbank rate.

“Residents who fail to retire their debts within three months of being invited to negotiate payment plans will have their outstanding debts converted to United States dollars at the interbank rate and pay the debts in US$.

“Council owed over $17 billion. Money owed to council is losing value daily and when it is finally paid, it will not meet its budgeted targets.

“Hedging the debts, against the United States dollar, will help council maintain value when it’s finally paid,” tweeted Harare City Council

The statement was, however, received with fury from the public and residents’ representatives, who described the intended move as “absolute nonsense”.

Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba said the city fathers were hallucinating  and had no legal basis to take that channel.

“They are simply trying to intimidate ratepayers because they have no legal basis to do that.

“The Harare City Council was allocated a budget of $41 billion which means ratepayers should pay rates using that same currency.

“Residents must not be frightened by these arrogant officials, they are actually hallucinating,” said Shumba.

He said the Council should make their decisions after full consultations with residents.

“As Harare Residents Trust, we are not going to allow this to happen and if it means a demonstration to face them, we are ready for that.

“We have been telling residents to pay what they can afford, the minimum of something equivalent to US$10.

“These decisions should be done after consulting residents, who are the ratepayers.

“They assume that all residents have access to their press statements in newspapers or social media.

“They have district offices and Councillors who should engage the public.”

Shumba said HCC have no moral obligation to intimidate residents because of their poor service delivery.

“It simply means we are dealing with arrogant people like what I have said. We are dealing with individuals who are only concerned about their salaries and allowances.

“An organisation with a chaotic billing and poor service delivery,” said Shumba.

Below are some of the comments by the public on the Council’s Twitter handle:

Nonsense! There is no law like that in this country! Kupusa chete. You can’t make money. You can’t make people pay. Zvimitemo zvomoda kuisa izvi hazvishandi futi and it’s illegal! – KWANDINOBVA.

In terms of what section in the City by-laws, Urban Councils Act or Local Government Act? EDRIDGE GAMBIZA.

What about Councils that fail to collect garbage? What should we do with them? – BLESSED ANTONIO.

No you cannot convert debts in that way. That is illegal. – FINZIM.

If people are failing to pay with the local currency, how on earth are they going to manage to pay in forex? KALANGA PRINCE.

Is there a legal statute for this, if not forget and smile? CALVIN MAJORA.

Absolutely nonsense just find a better way to recover the money you are owed because this is illegal. – SIMBA.

Nonsense, are you paying your workers in USD? You want to charge us in USD for services not provided. No water, no street lights, very poor roads, tall grass on most road verges, uncollected garbage, dirty city centre, etc, USD for what? Be serious. – MUNYA MURAPA.

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