Harare debt collectors finally stopped

Following pressure from residents for the City of Harare to cancel its contract with Wellcash Debt Collectors (Pvt) (Ltd) who of late have become notorious for terrorizing and extorting residents, especially low income households, Harare Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni has written to the City’s acting Town Clerk, Josephine Ncube directing her to suspend the debt collectors’ operations.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni

Wellcash Debt Collectors have been threatening residents against attachment of property (in direct violation of the law) and were also charging an extra 10 percent of what the residents owe to council.

The move prompted a series of community engagements during which the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) was educating residents on the illegality on debt collection.

CHRA also engaged officials at Town House as well as law experts following an outcry from residents who had become victims of the operations of Wellcash Debt Collectors (Pvt) (Ltd).

http://thezimbabwean.co/2017/01/chra-educates-residents-illegality-debt-collectors/

CHRA is in possession of a memorandum dated March 8, 2017 in which Harare Mayor, Councilor Bernard Manyenyeni directs Town Clerk, Josephine Ncube to suspend the contract of Wellcash Debt Collectors for the following reasons;

–          “There appears to be a perceived bias towards the lower income suburbs of the city whose targets are largely victims of the current economic environment.”

–          “The debt recovery methods employed so far have been reportedly brutal or at best arrogant.”

–          “The yields from the exercise are reportedly way below the true values of the assets sold and also below the amounts owed.”

–          “The correctness of outstanding debts to council is contested for a significant number of the rate payers targeted, especially for water accounts to residents who are not receiving water supply at all.”

–          “We have not come clean on the chicken-egg argument by the targeted ratepayers challenging council about service delivery.”

–          “We have very little moral ground to demand these amounts from suffering residents when our cost structure is far from satisfactory.”

Councilor Manyenyeni added that “it is not convincing to squeeze money from the poor residents in order to allocate over 70 percent of that hard earned cash to salaries of our employees who are known to be over-remunerated”.

CHRA Position: “As a residents association, we welcome the move to 

suspend the contract of Wellcash Debt Collectors (Pvt) (Ltd) as this symbolizes an end to intimidation and extortion. We however contend that the best way forward is to CANCEL Wellcash Debt Collectors’ contract after which council makes payment plans with residents.

“It is however unfortunate that this noble move has come at a time when some residents had already lost their property and hard earned cash to Wellcash Debt Collectors.”

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