Various local government authorities including the Harare City Council have vowed that they will continue to charge foreign currency only for certain bills. Several councils introduced these measures where residents are charged foreign currency only for certain bills such as towing and storage fees. This is despite the fact that the central government has said that councils should stop the practice and accept local currency. Councils however have vowed to continue to demand foreign currency as they say they have not yet received the directive from the central government telling them to stop.
But this will be a redundant directive because the circular (Treasury) is clear and the law is clear.
Asking the ministry to issue a circular is asking for too much supervision… it’s unnecessary but we are writing (to) them.
The secretary also said the central government would be writing letters to councils asking them to stop. The truth though is that there are two sides to this argument of whether bills should be paid in foreign currency or not. The Zimbabwean dollar has been rather unstable and has lost the bulk of its value since the year began. This means that all residents have to do is wait until their dues are decimated by rate hikes, take a couple of US dollars and change them to Zimbabwean dollars on the black market and pay off months of debts. On the other hand, the council is getting essentially worthless payments. As a result, they cannot provide essential services like refuse collection. On the other hand, a lot of people earn the bulk of their salaries in ZWL. Demanding forex puts them in a difficult position.