Wellcash Debt Collectors, a company engaged by City of Harare to collect unpaid rates from residents, has been flouting provisions of their contract with residents crying foul over the money collected without being deducted from their accounts, 263Chat can reveal.
By Byron Mutingwende
According to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) seen by 263Chat, the obligations of Wellcash Debt Collectors as defined in Section 6. 2 were, ‘that they maintain a Trust account for City of Harare’s debt collection transaction before remittance to Harare.
The agreement stipulated that Wellcash Debt collectors were not expected to collect their commissions until all the money owed to City of Harare have been recovered but a confidential report in the hands of 263Chat revealed that they were collecting 10 percent commission from residents.
The report dated 23 May 2017 also revealed that in violation of Section 6.2.2 of the MOU, Wellcash was using an account not exclusive to City of Harare raising suspicions on whether they have remitted all the moneys collected.
Wellcash has been operating at Marlborough, Mufakose and GlenView district offices despite the absence of provisions for them to work from council district offices.
According to the . The April 2017 full council meeting resolution reveals that the councillors directed the Acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube to terminate the contract despite a termination clause stating that the agreement is terminable by giving 14 days written notice.
Hardlife Mudzingwa, the Programmes Manager of Community Water Alliance said City of Harare need assistance on debt management strategy outside the Wellcash arrangement.
“Citizens should be paid back the 10% commission collected by Wellcash. Council should enforce this and if it fails, public interest litigation is the way to go,” Mudzingwa said.
Efforts to get comments from the City of Harare Spokesperson, Michael Chideme were fruitless as he did respond to questions send to him via Whatsapp.
Asked if he could confirm details of the report in question, City of Harare Mayor, Councillor Benard Manyenyeni said he was not aware of it.