10 October 2017

Zimbabwe: Chitungwiza Mulls Re-Engaging Debt Collector

Chitungwiza Municipality is considering re-engaging the services of a debt collector to recover over $60 million that is owed by both residential and commercial debtors. The contract it once had with Mangwana and Partners was terminated in May 2015 after residents complained about the heavy-handed and callous manner with which the debt collectors were treating debtors. The municipality's acting town clerk, Ms Charity Maunga, told The Herald that they will recruit a new debt collector through a tender.

"Mangwana and Partners covered a certain period, but is just finalising some cases still pending at the courts, hence the need to engage a new debt collector. We are engaging another debt collector through a tender and this is going to be a transparent process obviously. We are guided by the procurement regulations (Procurement Act), and this means I do not know who is going to win the tender at the end of the day," she said.

At a recent full council meeting, there were proposals to engage WellCash, which is contracted by the Harare City Council. The municipal's finance manager, Mrs Evangelista Machona, indicated at a recent 2018 pre-budget consultative meeting that roping in the services of a debt collector was the only alternative since residents continued dodging paying bills.

"To those who are failing to pay their debts, we are now considering taking them to a debt collector because as council we have tried our best," she said. "You (residents) pleaded with us to stop Mangwana and Partners from collecting debts, we terminated his contract in May 2015 before engaging you for a dialogue.

"We did so, but many of you are not paying and as council we are now flighting a tender to engage a debt collector to help us recover our money so that service delivery can not be affected. In order for you to be on the safe side, you should come forward to council and propose a payment plan."

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