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Harare City Council illegally billing residents
Residents Association (CHRA)
August 26, 2011
Combined Harare Residents Association is shocked to note that City
of Harare is charging residents an illegal admin fee of up to $20
without consulting the ratepayers. This development was captured
after more than 20 residents approached the Association seeking
clarification on the latest development. To that end, CHRA would
like to implore City of Harare to clarify this figure to residents.
City of Harare is currently consulting residents on the crafting
of the 2012 City budget and one wonders whether these consultations
are anyhow meaningful if the Local Authority can still go on to
fix exorbitant charges along the way without consulting residents.
Fixing an additional
admin fee of $20 on Council bills clearly contravenes section 219
[2a&b] of the Urban
Councils Act (29:15). According to this act, although a Council
has the right to fix any charges they deem as relevant to the provision
of basic services, the need to consult ratepayers and seek their
consent is clearly spelt out. We are not aware of any advertisements,
publication or poster stuck at C.O.H local offices advising Residents
on the matter. According to the former, this makes the $20 admin
fee charge illegal.
We urge Residents to attend budget consultation meetings so as to
avoid being ambushed by figures they can not afford. Residents have
got the mandate to defend their communities by demanding C.O.H to
prioritize services which need improvement for example water delivery.
Lately, some parts of Harare have been having an erratic water supply
which saw areas like Westgate and Malberein going for many weeks
without water. Community roads still need urgent attention and street
lights have become a thing of the past especially in most high density
suburbs. To that end, there is need for most of the revenue which
C.O.H is getting from residents to be channeled towards service
delivery. CHRA remains committed to Good Local Governance practiced
on a non partisan basis.
Visit the CHRA
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