Council makes U-turn on debt collectors

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Shurugwi Town Council has reversed its decision to unleash debt collectors on defaulters after residents last month demonstrated against the move.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

Council chairperson Tsungai Makore told NewsDay on Saturday the local authority had instead urged residents to come up with a payment plan to clear the rates arrears now estimated at around $16 million.

“We have resolved as council that the best way forward is to give time for ratepayers to come up with payment plans to settle their arrears,” Makore said.

“It is not in our best interest to take residents to debt collectors, but we have to strike a balance between offering quality service delivery and payment of bills.”

Several councils throughout the country have reportedly been choked by residents’ unpaid rates with the majority now resorting to use of debt collectors to raise revenue for salaries and service delivery.