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Councillors go after owing govt entities

Bulawayo Councillors have urged the local authority to pursue government entities and ministries which owe council millions in unpaid rates.

Council is owed ZWL$4 312 473 by entities such as Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and the Ministry of Education.

The city fathers say council should recover the money which could be used to improve service delivery.

Speaking during a full council meeting, Wednesday, Ward 9 Councillor Donaldson Mabutho said the local authority needs to pursue the entities.

“The ministries whose bills are not paid by the Ministry of finance and community development, I need clarity with the performance of these ministries in terms of paying us our dues.

“We have a debt of ZW$4 million by the ministry of agriculture, ministry of water, ministry of education, Zimbabwe electoral commission. You look at the totals received which is money paid to us as of September 2019 and its only ZW$30 453 which is a joke,” said Cllr Mabutho.

He said there is a need for the local authority to make follow-ups on the debtors.

“I want to say to the committees responsible for this, pursue these ministries we need this ZW$4 million.

“We cannot sit and stop chasing these ministries, this is big money, ZW$30 000 is a big insult. If you look at it the ZW$30 000 came from the Ministry of Education,” he said.

Ward 27 Councillor Alderman Siboniso Khumalo said there is a need to engage with the entities so that they can settle their debts.

“As the local authority we give ZINWA money but the debt they owe us is too much. The ZW$ 2.4 million from ZINWA is just too much, the chairman of the committee has to take action,” said Alderman Khumalo.

“We get water for the City from ZINWA but they are failing to pay us the debts, that is why you will realize that residents hesitate to pay the local authority due to such entities who owe us,” he said. 

As of September 2019, the local authority is owed a total of ZWL$188 710 737 with residents owing the largest chunk at ZWL$108 255 563.

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