GWERU deputy mayor Cleopas Shiri on Tuesday said council was working on modalities to ensure that ratepayers were issued with itemised bills, a move that will end a five-year standoff between the local authority and ratepayers.
An itemised bill is one which lists the cost of each item rather than just the total cost.
“The issue of itemised bills has been a thorny issue between council and residents over the years. I am glad to announce that we are working on the digitalisation of our system to ensure we have itemised bills by next year,” Shiri told a stakeholders meeting in Gweru. The meeting on citizen’s constitutional rights was convened by the Centre for Applied Legal Research.
“We know people have been complaining that council issued estimated bills but we have engaged with partners to come up with a friendly billing system acceptable to ratepayers.”
He, however, did not specify when exactly next year the municipality would start issuing itemised bills.
Over the years, residents have been demanding itemised bills from council, arguing that they (itemised bills) are a true reflection of amounts owed to the local authority by ratepayers.
Speaking on the same occasion Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association Trust executive director David Chikore said itemised bills were long overdue.
“We have always made it clear that council should provide to all ratepayers on the council’s billing radar, individual itemised bills so that each ratepayer can authenticate the validity of the components that constitute his or her debt,” he said.
“Itemised bills represent our right to information and ensure transparency and accountability on what we as ratepayers owe council.”
Some residents have been refusing to settle their bills arguing that the estimated bills were not what they owed council.
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