Lovemore Lubinda

The City of Harare has been criticised for lack of efficiency and poor service delivery when dealing with ratepayers’ queries.

The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) has lambasted the local authority for failing to decentralise important services like financial billing and/or billing error corrections.

“This statement is a direct rebuke of the City of Harare over its centralised financial management system which makes Rowan Martin Building the only place where disgruntled ratepayers have to go for correction of erroneous billing, clarifications, or even to provide proof of electronic payments.

“The city’s financial services system should be decentralised to be readily accessible and available at district offices, that is to say in local communities where ratepayers live,” says HRT in a statement.

HRT says on 8 June 2018, the city issued a statement advising ratepayers to bring their Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) proof of payment to Rowan Martin so that the local authority can process their receipts.

The Trust says the city should not correct its errors at the expense of its customers, as travelling to Rowan Martin which is located outside the CBD is an unjustifiable expense to ratepayers, who are forced to walk all the way or take up a taxi.

“It is the City of Harare’s duty and obligation to facilitate convenient payment of bills by ratepayers, and not the other way round,” says HRT.