Back at the end of August, the Harare City Council announced that they would now require for certain services. These included planning fees and towing fees which could only be settled in USD as the city council would not accept Zimbabwean dollars for these services. This angered a lot of residents and resulted in the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit freezing Harare City’s Nostro bank accounts. It seems the experiment is now over as Harare City Council recently announced they scrapping the directive and would now accept ZWL payments for all services.

PUBLIC NOTICE: PAYMENT OF SELECTED SERVICE CHARGES EXCLUSIVELY IN UNITED STATES DOLLARS (USD).
Council wishes to advise its valued residents and stakeholders that certain fees chargeable by Council are now payable exclusively in United States Dollars (USD) with effect from the 1st of September 2022.

The fees exclude all charges that are accessible through the monthly bills, i.e. water consumption, sewerage, refuse collection and rates. The above-mentioned charges will remain open to being payable using multi-currency as may be opted by the client.

Buy USD Airtime

This development is in line with Council’s Resolution made on the 3rd of August 2022 and the need to capacitate Council to continue sustaining service delivery. The USD tariffs will remain as contained in the 2022 approved budget or Schedule 25A.

The announcement from Harare City Council

Publicity stunt?

This was never going to last given the fact that it was against the law and did not have the national government’s blessing. The national government of Zimbabwe relies heavily on the Zimbabwean dollar they have an invested interest in making sure it continues to be widely accepted as legal tender. They have passed like a gazillion different laws to ensure this and allowing Harare City Council to do this would have been another nail in the ZWL coffin.

Harare City Council probably knew this. They just wanted to kick up a storm and highlight the fact that the reason why they’re failing when it comes to service delivery is that they do not have the funds. Thanks to residents not paying their dues and the central government dragging its feet at every turn Harare City Council is barely functional as it does not have enough funds. It does not help that the higher-ups pay themselves eye-popping salaries either. This whole thing was the latest episode in the fight with the national government.