Army, police refuse to pay up

The City Council is failing to recover $20 million owed by government departments, of which the army and police owe half.

Sources in the city council, which is led by the MDC-T, said that the Zimbabwe National Army and Zimbabwe Republic Police had not paid their water tariffs and other services rendered by council, despite efforts by the city fathers to engage them.

The sources said the money owed had accumulated since the inception of the multi currency system in the country in 2009 when the government of national unity came into being.

“The city council is owed a lot by the army and the police and several other government departments. They are refusing to pay their water tariffs and other services they get from us, using their military muscles,” said an insider who declined to be named.

He added that the issue had been discussed at length in council meetings, but the council could not take any resolution because they were afraid of the soldiers.

It is alleged the city council cannot resort to disconnecting the water at the army’s HQ4 brigade and 4:1 infantry battalion as it could be turned into a security issue.

Masvingo City Mayor, Alderman Femias Chakabuda, confirmed the stand-off but could not shed light on the exact figure the army, police and the government owed the city council.

“We have been trying everything possible to get the money paid. The city council is owed a lot of money by the government departments and the military institutions, but I am not sure about the exact amount you can check with the city treasurer," Mayor Chakabuda said.

Efforts to get a comment from ZNA provincial spokesperson, Kingston Chivave, were fruitless as his mobile was not reachable while his counterpart, ZRP provincial spokesperson, Inspector Tinaye Matake refused to comment.

“I can’t comment to you call the PGHQ and speak to Bvudzijena,” said Matake.

Efforts to get a comment form Bvudzijena were not fruitful.

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