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Residents Trust Warns Harare Over Bill Threats

Harare residents queuing for water.
The Harare Residents Trust says the Harare City Council should desist from threatening residents for failing to pay their bills on time.

The Harare City Council, which recently wrote off accumulated debts on rates and charges for all domestic consumers following a directive from Local government Minister Ignatius Chombo, is now threatening to take legal action against residents who do not pay their July bills going forward on time.

Acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube said in a statement residents risk legal consequences if they fail to pay on time, language which angered the Harare Residents Trust.

The statement read: "Failure to settle bills in full by the due date will leave the council with no option but to take further action. Pay your bills by due dates to avoid any inconveniences and attendant legal action."

"All ratepayers, corporate and individuals alike are hereby urged to timeously settle their municipal bills, For individuals, the July and August 2013 bills should be paid in full by the due date without failure."

Harare Residents Trust coordinator Precious Shumba said it is wrong for the local authority to threaten residents.
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Shumba said the threats against defaulting residents only serve to promote resistance by the majority residents. He said Harare should address what the HRT says is chaotic billing system and erractic service delivery.

Harare cancelled debts amounting to $330 million from the $400 million it was owed residents following Chombo's directive.