Gweru warns residents

Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi

GWERU City Council has warned defaulting residents that they will not be given further notice to pay their bills before legal action is taken against them.

Stephen Chadenga

Town clerk Daniel Matawu said council was failing to deliver services because residents were not paying bills.

“The City of Progress would like to call all stakeholders to pay their bills on time to enable the city to meet its obligations,” he said in a statement.

Matawu said council had written off debts as per government directive and offered discounts in a bid to lessen the burden on residents, but some were still not paying their bills.

He said council had already started water disconnections adding the move will force residents to settle their bills on time.

Since the beginning of this year, council has been struggling to provide adequate services and to pay its workers as a result of deteriorating working capital.

The problem was further compounded by a government directive to scrap all residential rate and water debts accumulated between 2009 and 2013.

The cash-strapped council is owed over $13 million in unpaid rates, water, refuse and sewage bills by companies operating in Gweru.

At the end of last month, mayor Hamutendi Kombayi said the move to disconnect water was justified.

“We have residents who have gone for more than two months without settling their water bills,” he said.

“Honestly, how can council be expected to provide smooth services when people are not paying up?

“We are left with no choice but to whip defaulters into line by disconnecting them,” Kombayi said then.