Council to terminate debt collector’s contract 

Source: Council to terminate debt collector’s contract – DailyNews Live

2 November 2017

HARARE – Harare City Council (HCC) will not be renewing its contract with
Wellcash Debt Collectors (Wellcash) after its expiry on November 15 this

This comes amid outrage by residents in numerous towns over the hiring of
the debt collectors.

Councillors agreed not to renew the contract in a full council meeting
held Tuesday.

During the meeting, HCC’s audit committee chairperson, Herbert Gomba, said
the position was taken after realising that the local authority had a
credit control department that could carry out the same tasks as Wellcash.

He said there was duplication of roles by Wellcash, HCC credit controllers
and the legal division.

“If people are not happy with the way the credit control department is
handling the matter, let the Human Resources (HR) committee deal with that
matter. What we are seeing is a situation where we are asking an external
organisation to do council work yet we do not see any disciplinary
measures being undertaken on the people who are failing to do their job,”
Gomba said.

Alderman Samuel Chinyowa, however, argued why council was rescinding the
contract considering the city’s poor revenue collection.

Chinyowa said the city cannot function without funding and ratepayers
needed to negotiate payments.

“The city has no money and yet the people want to disengage with Wellcash.
If the government can engage them at Parirenyatwa Hospital where people
are being treated and we say no, where do we get money for this council?
People do not want to pay money. We are failing to pay our workers because
there is no money. Let us not play politics here. We want the council to
function. We want money for the city to run,” Chinyowa said.

HR committee chairperson Wellington Chikombo  said council could not be
emasculated by bringing in external help.

He said HCC employed people to do debt collection duties, adding that
outsourcing the service increasing costs unneccesarily.

“We need to capacitate divisions that deal with debt collection. We cannot
sit back and let other people do the job then we pay them money that is
supposed to come to council anyway. We should make sure that we reduce
costs by any means necessary,” Chikombo said.

According to the notice to rescind the council resolution to engage
Wellcash, council noted that the interest charges on debts and the 10
percent commission further impoverished low income property owners.

“The rescission of the council resolution will not leave a gap in debt
collection as a council resolution is already in place to capacitate the
credit control section of the finance department, to improve the debt
collection capacity. Council is already assessing the challenges being
faced by its revenue collection division with the view to urgently address
the same,” read part of the letter.

Wellcash director Cashington Mavunduke told the Daily News that they had
no qualms with council not renewing their contract.

“We have no problems with council not renewing our contract. We actually
worked for more months than the contract had stated. Our business will not
suffer because of that, we still have many other clients,” he said.