Council summons 2 000 defaulters

Talent Gore

Harare City Council has issued 2 000 summons so far to defaulting ratepayers in a bid to recover part of the ZiG940 million that it is owed.

The debt, according to the city, is preventing it from providing adequate service to ratepayers.

City of Harare’s corporate communications manager, Stanley Gama, said the 2 000 summons were for both residential and commercial defaulters.

“Two thousand summons have been issued to defaulting ratepayers. This is the first batch of summons and more will be issued in due course,” he said.

“We appeal to all ratepayers who are in arrears to settle their debts to avoid litigation and subsequent inconveniences that may arise.

“The City’s Finance Department has started legal processes to recover these debts and to date 2000 summons have been issued to ratepayers.”

Gama said the litigation process begins with final demands, which are issued after clients fail to respond to calls to settle their obligations.

“The final demands give the ratepayer 14 days to respond after which council proceeds to issue summons from the Messenger of Court,” he said.

“The summons give the rate payer 14 days to pay and if no response is obtained warrants and writs of executions will be issued to attach property.

“While the City of Harare prefers to resolve these matters amicably, the current situation where more than 50% of the debtors have gone for more than six months without paying the City has left the City with no choice.”

Gama added that the Council was prepared to accommodate the residents with payment plans and set-offs where applicable to liquidate the debts.

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