GWERU CITY COUNCIL has dangled a 50 % rates and services knock- off six month debt relief incentive to commercial and industrial clients as the local authority seeks to lure investment into the City of Progress.
However, the scheme does not cater for institutions that benefited from last year’s government instructed debt write-off.
In a notice yesterday the council said the debt relief programme runs from July to December and targets bills outstanding as of the end of last year.
But Gweru Town clerk Daniel Matawu warned of “more severe, legal and equally permissive method” if debtors ignore the offer.
“ To that end council is running a rates and services clearance/ write off scheme with the following terms and conditions, that 50 % of rates and services charges on all bills for industry, commence and all institutions, outstanding as at December 2013 shall be knocked off if 50% of such outstanding amounts are paid up during promotional period’ said Matawu.
“Affected ratepayers and debtors who fail to embrace this relief measure would have the full arrears owing to council restored after the lapse of the grace period. Upon lapsing of the promotional period, the more severe, legal and equally permissive method of engaging the messenger of court for the attachment and subsequent auctioning of the defiant debtors assets would be effected without any further notice” warned Matawu.
The cash-strapped council is owed several millions in unpaid bills at some stage resorted to water disconnections.
In may residents rejected the once-off $20 pump levy per household introduced by council which reflected on their April water accounts.
In its 2014 budget, the local authority had proposed that ratepayers fork out a once-off payment of $20 towards procurement of water pumps — a resolution the residents adopted.