Govt owes municipality $70m

Harare City Council said it would like to improve services, but following a $15 000 environmental fine, it is struggling financially. Acting Town Clerk and Director of Health Services, Dr Prosper Chonzi, said that the government owed the council $70m in unpaid charges. “So far they have only paid us about $1,7m, out of the total sum owed and this continues to hamper our operations,” Chonzi said.

Chonzi pleaded with the EMA not to impose a monetary fine saying it would exacerbate their plight. He said that the council was not wilfully contravening the ‘organisation’s provisions’. He added that the council had done reasonably well in view of the collapse of Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s systems.

According to Chonzi, the council had spent over $17m on rehabilitating sewage treatment plants.

The council was fined on three separate accounts: uncontrolled commercial and residential stand developments, cultivation and sand abstraction on wetlands and the disposal of raw sewage without a licence.

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