DOLLARISATION? – City Of Harare Starts Charging Services Exclusively In United States Dollars [USD]
The City of Harare has announced that some of its services will now only be paid for exclusively in United States Dollars [USD]. This is with effect from Thursday, September 1, 2022.
According to the City of Harare, the decision to charge some services exclusively in the United States is part of a resolution to capacitate Council.
However, for some reason, the City of Harare seems reluctant to specify the actual services, which will now have USD Tariffs.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Council announced some of the services that will not be paid for in United States Dollars. These include:
- Water Consumption
- Refuse Collection
Below is the full statement from the city of Harare, which iHarare is publishing in full:
“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 1sr 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.
“This development is in line with Council’s Resolution made on the 3’ 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 statement from the City of Harare comes a few months after the Council threatened to convert all debts into USD.
In March, the City Council threatened to convert all debts into foreign currency, arguing that it was owed a massive US$17 Billion by defaulting residents and corporates.
The Council gave residents and corporates a three-month ultimatum to clear their debts or sign a payment plan. Failure to do so, the Council claimed, would result in the city authorities converting all current debts into USD at the official interbank rate.
In a statement, the Council said,
“Residents who fail to retire their debts within three months of being invited to negotiate payment plans will have their outstanding debts converted to United States dollars at the interbank rate and pay the debts in US$.
“Council owed over $17 billion. Money owed to the Council is losing value daily, and when it is finally paid, it will not meet its budgeted targets.
“Hedging the debts, against the United States dollar, will help council maintain value when it’s finally paid.”
Unsurprisingly, the announcement was met with a lot of pushback.
The move to convert debts into USD was widely condemned by residents on social media, who claimed that it was outrageous, illegal and unethical. Some even vowed to fight such a move at the courts.
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