Lovemore Meya Herald Correspondent
Chitungwiza Municipality will start charging six percent interest on all overdue accounts for both residential and commercial ratepayers starting January next year, acting town clerk Mrs Charity Maunga said. The municipality is being burdened by creditors who are levying additional interest rates on its obligations.
However, the costs are being passed on to residents and business. “Previously, we have not been charging interest on overdue accounts and starting January next year, we will be charging six percent for overdue accounts of 60 days and above,” said Mrs Maunga.
“This is the time for our residents again to come forth and workout a payment plan opening until December for them not to be affected by the interest charges. We do understand that currently residents are struggling to settle their debts, but this is a legal component which applies in any organisation on prescribed rate of interest.
“There is an Act which takes note that if you do not pay your debt within a certain period interest has to be charged. It is not something only applying to Chitungwiza Municipality, but it applies in any organisation, institution even in Government and it is in terms of the Urban Council’s Act.” She said the UCA gives provision to charge after 30 days.
“In fact the UCA states that if an overdue account is 30 days and above you charge interest, but we are saying to our residents we have stretched to 60 days. The problem with us now is our creditors are charging us various interest rates, but we were not doing so.
“This is why at times you see a misnomer that what is owed to us is less than what we owe because we were not charging interest. We were not applying it for other reasons, but now we are starting and we encourage residents to pay up. “We appreciate that the economic situation is not conducive that is the reason we are calling on our residents to come for payment plans because we know you cannot pay your bill at once.”