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Mutare City Council owed Z$3 billion by ratepayers


MUTARE – MUTARE City Council is owed at least Z$3 billion by its debtors, a set back that council has said is affecting adequate service delivery.

This came out during the adoption of The Mutare City Council Z$45 billion 2023 budget last Friday at a special full council meeting held at the council chambers.

In presenting the budget, the chairperson of the Mutare City Council Finance Committee, Zvenyika Misi (Ward 7), said a total of $3 332 436 090. 56 was unpaid by ratepayers as at 30 September 2022 and Mutasa Rural District Council is leading the list.

Mutasa Rural District Council draws water from the Pungwe River water works, which is administered by Mutare City Council.

Said Misi: “The Mutare City escalated the matter (Mutasa Rural District Council) to the courts resulting in the issuance of a Deed of Settlement on payment on arrears.”

He added: “The other debtors including government are followed diligently and reminders are sent and to some extreme extend summons are issued so as to collect the outstanding dues.”

Institutions in Mutare including government are the biggest debtors that owe council ZW$615 779 743.41 followed by the commercial sector that owes ZW$595 565 414.60.

On third position is the industrial sector that owes ZW$411 978 078.79 followed by the residents in the high density suburbs who have a ZW394 174 236.05 debt.

The low density residents owe council ZW$5 586 870.75.

Despite the huge debt owed to council by ratepayers, the Mutare City Council has managed to procure capital goods to spruce up service delivery.

Council has procured six refuse compactors (two of which are due for delivery before December, an Iveco ambulance, Pneumatic roller, three utility vehicles and 44 motor bikes.

The local authority has also completed the roofing of Hobhouse School block, construction Pegasus market, completion of Dangamvura pipeline and the purchasing of a bull dozer that is expected to be delivered in December.
The Mutare Mayor Simon Chabuka urged the ratepayers to play their part.

He said: “Ratepayers should play their part by paying their bills on time and in return council should deliver by offering the valuable residents service delivery.”

Chabuka urged ratepayers to enter into payment plans whereby they will be paying the current bills and clearing their arrears to avoid inconveniences such as litigation and water disconnections.