City of Harare introduces online bill enquiry

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

The City of Harare, and actually every other municipality we have locally, doesn’t usually turn a lot of attention to online services and technology. Sometimes, they do, however see the benefits and make some effort to use technology.

In a an announcement made through a newspaper advert, the City of Harare has introduced an online bill enquiry function on its website. Residents can log on to click on the Bill enquiry tab and proceed to register their accounts to be able to access the basic service.

At this point there is no integration with an option for online payments through the same platform, something which would have added a much needed dimension to this new development. If I know how much I owe the city, the next thing I’d want to do is to pay my bill.

With ubiquitous payment alternatives like mobile money such a feature should be standard. After all, the City of Harare has, in the past, entertained the integration of mobile money payments for rates through services like EcoCash. 

I’m also looking forward to a mobile application that does all this, and perhaps, caters for other City of Harare services and information. Other cities should also have a go at it. Surely there’s developer talent in each city and town to make this a possibility.

For now this enquiry option is at least a start, especially for the hordes of people that are always frustrated by the prospect of queuing just to find out how much they need to give city.


  1. Duma Mtungwa

    Which company is responsible for building the online billing platform? Local I hope.

    1. Nhai

      Who really cares whether its local or international company who did their billing system, as long as it works

      1. Mfoka Mdlongwa

        A lot of people care actually. Its a matter of how you view economics, opportunities for local developers etc in the long term

    2. bee


  2. Mfoka Mdlongwa

    I suspect they used an external vendor , this might be an extension of the BIQ platform

    1. Joomgasm

      1. In the footer, it says “The website was developed by: Itai Dhedheya.” with a link to his contact details.
      2. Pressing Ctrl+U, then Ctrl+F, then typing “joom” confirms that its jooomla (could tell just by the number of plugins – whether they add value or not is debatable)

      1. Joomgasm

        There is also a biq logo and google takes you here :

        Their website is also joomla and just as ugly (to me at least). They say the system was dev’d in 1994.

        That is why it has taken so long for them to innovate. If this biq system developed done in Visual Basic, then its always going to take longer to innovate on top of it because of several reasons:
        – not that many good vb devs out there (not .net that came around 2001)
        – its old, it takes a while to make changes (without breaking things)
        – one company owns the source “Quill Associates” and they sell the system to other clients so the municipality is at their mercy.

        If the supplier’s site is that outdated (last updated 2013), I will definately question their commitment and their ability to innovate.

  3. Gedion Moyo

    This is a good move – a big step towards the right direction. I am sure in the next iterations, Itai Dhedheya will focus on making the website more lightweight with less plugins (think Bootstrap). Otherwise, big congrats!

  4. macd chip

    This is a good start, l hope they will keep the momentum going by adding what really people need to make the platform more useful

  5. kundai(security researcher)

    i hope this site isn’t template soup there seem is too much of that nonsense in the current development sphere.

  6. Pedro

    Site painstakingly slow

  7. Sinclair

    I would be way more impressed if I actually GOT the basic services first, online or not. Like waste collection or the water I have been paying for since 2008 or so without seeing a drop

  8. Zimbo

    this System has always been there , Nigel you didnt know about this?

  9. macd chip

    Now the bad news:

    The site is not loading on my android phone. It is not mobile friendly at all.
    If majority of users in Zim access the internet via their mobile phones, how can this service be popular with users.

    I guess the web developer was just happy to win the contract and get his money after the job done. I do not think there was any user survey done to try and gauge market the website was targeting.

    1. TheKing

      The site is slow to load even on a desktop, I’m assuming it timed out for you when accessing from a phone. Great initiative anyway

  10. TheKing

    Guys, this is a good start but:

    1.The site is slow to load, I’m assuming heavy traffic after TZ article. Please scale up.
    2.The site is accessed over HTTP, I’m no security expert but I know this is not a good idea since users input pins.
    3.This is debatable, but the site is kinda ugly. I think the developer was trying to be minimal, but the site kinda looks ugly

    1. tinm@n

      Dont be sily now…You must be kidding to think it would slow down because of “heavy traffic from TZ”.

      Even the lowest end of hosting can handle hundreds if not thousands of hits per second

      1. Anonymous

        clearly you have never hosted anything before

  11. Ndebele Hacker

    theres nothing that they can do, will hack and transfere money to our accounts

    1. Rr

      Dumb dumb what will you hacj on a site that only dispkays account balances.
      Even if you got banking in4 very few zimbos pat by credit/debit card so no real worth. Plus nost zimbis havent activated their internet banking facilities and it a hell of a lot of work. To get them to work

    2. Anonymous

      script kiddie you still around? You think you can hack the site. Why not go ahead and do it. No scripts maybe?

  12. Deb

    The site seems to be down,or is it from my end only?

  13. ziso

    the site is in shambles.not opening at all.

  14. rasputin

    Right step but can be held back as people protect their jobs instead of promoting efficiency.

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