Masvingo City Council failing to deliver

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Masvingo City Council says it is failing to deliver meaningful service to its 100 000 residents owing to unpaid rates that have reached $24 million.

Tatenda Chitagu
Own Correspondent

According to the latest full council minutes, the debt from households stands at $10 million, while institutional debtors, including government departments, owe it $14 million.

“The overall collection rate was 54,2%, high-density collection rate being 66,16% and collection rate for commercial water being the lowest at 25,95%,” the minutes read. “It was reported that the total debt was now $24 596 234,52 with major debtors being domestic and commercial.

“On institutional debtors, it was reported that the total debt was $14 003 924,06.

“The need to collect outstanding debts from educational institutions and government departments was highlighted.”

Masvingo mayor Hubert Fidze attributed the high debt to the liquidity crunch plaguing the country, but urged residents to come up with payment plans to settle their debts.

“Residents should come up with the little money they have and make a payment plan to avoid disconnections,” he said.

“They should bring the little that they have so that we function. We know money is hard to come by these days, but at least it is better to pay something.”

Commenting on the government departments debt, largely coming from the police, the army, prisons and other parastatals, Fidze said they were not forthcoming in settling their debts.

“For government departments, the situation is tricky because they are not forthcoming while sometimes we cannot force them to pay, but we will engage them,” he said.