The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) started this year by negotiating payment plans with clients mentioning the difficult economic hardships facing Zimbabwe.
Council will park the overdue debt and encourage payment of all current charge and installments towards the parked debt religiously over an agreed period according to a notification document to Bulawayo residents signed by the town clerk.
“In view of the difficult economic environment, the City of Bulawayo has taken the initiative to alleviate the plight of its various communities, both domestic and non domestic insofar as meeting their financial obligations for Municipal services,” states the document.
Once consumers have entered into the payment plan, accounts become interest free, subject to further review”
Payment plans negotiations come at a time when price increases on basic goods in retail outlets for the already unemployed and struggling Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans are also facing challenges in of going off budget when buying groceries due to the three-tier pricing system that has awakened after cash shortages. Citizens are getting cash at a minimum price of 20 percent on the black market which seems to be the largest source of the most needed bank notes.
The new Zimbabwean government’s call for retailers to reduce prices appears to be less effective as the costs remain high. Bulawayo, which is the second largest city in Zimbabwe and once an industrial hub has witnessed companies closing down sending hundreds into the streets.
The city was once one of the cleanest cities in Southern Africa with the best services in Zimbabwe.