Council migrates to e-bill payment system
Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Harare City Council on Monday started billing residents online through electronic bills that can be sent through mobile phones and e-mails to improve both revenue and service delivery. Harare, which is owed more than $658 million, has 265 000 properties in its database.
As of Monday, the city had managed to send e-bills to 12 000 properties in Harare. In an interview, Harare corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said e-bills were a convenient, secure and friendly way of delivering information to customers.
“We have begun sending e-bills to our customers. This is in line with our modernisation and vision of becoming a world class city by 2025. Customers can now receive their bills on WhatsApp and email,” he said.
“This provides convenience and promotes ease of doing business. We are encouraging all property owners to submit their phone numbers and email addresses.” As part of the city’s efforts to improve revenue collection, Harare is also using the Geographic Information System (GIS) to capture more properties for billing. Mr Chideme said e-bills would soon replace the old system after council registers all residents on its database.
“For now, the e-bills will complement our old system of billing on paper to those who have not given us their emails,” he said. The city has over the years failed to provide basic services such as refuse collection, constant supply of water as well as failing to pay their employees on time.
Residents owe council in excess of $249 million. City of Harare presently owes its workers six months’ salary worth over $20 million. Last year, Harare City Council served about 20 000 defaulters with summons to attach properties, as it moved to recover money owed in unpaid bills by residents. The summons were served on households in Borrowdale, Mabvuku, Mt Pleasant, Highlands, Mabelreign, Marlborough and other suburbs.