The City of Harare owes Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) $160 million and HAMMAS $6 million. ZIMRA is demanding a payment of $500 000 per week whilst NSSA is demanding $200 00 weekly payment. HAMMAS is now under a deed of settlement after a court order. The debt owed to ZIMRA has been increased by interest coming from late payment of tax.
As a way to collect revenue to pay debt (not delivering services), City of Harare re-engaged Wellcash debt collectors.
So it is case of allowing illegal activity to cover-up for non-payment of tax and to service debt.
Community Water Alliance rejects the use of debt collectors for various reasons:
- We are a law abiding institution and therefore we do not condone illegal activities. The Legal Practitioners Act does not allow what Well-cash is doing. The Law Society of Zimbabwe knows very well that Well-cash activities are against the law and the complacence to act by the Law Society is disturbing.
- City of Harare has not accounted properly for the revenue collected. The Auditor General’s reports are clear. Also out of the $12 million collected, salaries are gobbling close to $10 million. We believe in addressing root causes not symptoms of the problem. Engaging a debt collector is therefore a serious error in reasoning.
- Wellcash debt collectors have been at Hospitals and its activities including how they are given contracts is highly questionable. The Minister behind Well-cash is known and the unethical standards quite clear. Residents cannot therefore fund a Tipperary wine drinking lifestyle by the Minister hiding behind a registered company whose Directors are proxies.
- The debt on water needs an audit before one throws figures that are not justified. Although residents owe the Local Authority (but not as currently portrayed), the involvement of debt collectors is a wrong and illegal move.
Yes residents should pay for services rendered but the process of payment as well as the services paid for should not skip scrutiny and analysis.
We therefore encourage residents to resist Wellcash debt collectors and completely ignore the letters of demand issued by the debt collector. Those who have summons issued by Messenger of Court should contact us on +263 775 255 458 for assistance free of charge.
Source: Community Water Alliance