According to The Sunday Mail, the Harare City Council (HCC) has announced that beginning this month, it would begin charging interest fees to homeowners and commercial property owners who have outstanding amounts on their monthly payments and who have not paid such bills in full. In a statement, HCC said that the imposition of interest fees was required because there was a need to maintain the value of money. Reads the following portion of the statement:

The City of Harare would like to advise its valued ratepayers, residents and stakeholders that it will begin to levy interest on all outstanding balances with effect from October 31, 2022.

All residents with outstanding balances are therefore encouraged to clear their balances before this date or approach council finance offices for payment plans to avoid the interest charges.

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This latest stunt represents Harare City Council’s latest attempt to boost revenue collection. Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume stated back in September 2022 that people, the national government, and corporations owed the local government authority $45 ZWL billion. This shortage of funds has frustrated the Harare City Councils’ bid to provide services like refuse collection. The government also thwarted the city council’s attempts to make certain bills payable in foreign currency only.

Most people see these spats between the central government and Harare City Council as being politically motivated as the two are political foes.