Friday, 28 September 2018


Harare City Council has locked out tenants at Matapi Hostel in a bid to recover rental arrears, amid reports that some of its occupants have “not paid a cent” since the 2013 debt write-offs.

Council officials from Matapi District Offices were locking houses at Block 4 and 5 Matapi Flats for tenants with rental arrears.

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) yesterday claimed that city officials were only allowing tenants back after payment of $20.

“Section 51 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe gives every citizen the right to human dignity, while Section 68 guarantees right to administrative justice that is reasonable, proportionate, impartial and both substantively and procedurally fair,” said CHRA in a statement.

“Residents claim that the authorities are ambushing tenants who are not at home and then add another lock in a bid to coerce tenants to service their debts with the local authority.”

The city’s corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme confirmed the development, saying the city was engaging the affected tenants.

“Residents whose apartments were locked this morning because of non-payment of municipal bills have honoured their part of the deal and the apartments have been opened,” he said. “The remaining few are making payment arrangements.”

Harare City Council is owed almost $800 million by various debtors who include residents, Government and business.

Recently, council offered a 50 percent discount to residents as an incentive for residents to pay their bills.

The city says service delivery will improve if it manages to collect $400 million from what it is owed rather than continue, saying it is owed about $800 million which the city will never be able to recover. Herald


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