Council owed over $18 mil

The council is owed more than $18 million in unpaid rates by residents and stakeholders, but says it will not use confrontational methods to collect the money.

The city’s clerk, Obert Muzawazi, acknowledged how much residents had helped the council during the economic meltdown in 2008. He said when service delivery collapsed, residents took it upon themselves to repair roads and clean the city.

The council owes its creditors $5 million but Muzawazi insisted that there was a ‘right approach’ to take when discussing the issue with residents.

“The council is owed huge sums of money by stakeholders, including business people and residents but there is need for an amicable strategy to recover the funds. The council had proposed that residents should settle half of their bills and the balance will be written off. It’s a way of providing an incentive for our people to pay,” said Muzawazi.

Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association Programme Coordinator, David Mutambirwa, said they were happy that the council had acknowledged their efforts.

He said the local authority should work towards the rehabilitation of the water and sewage system in the high-density suburbs to alleviate water shortages.

Mutambirwa said there was an urgent need to address problems affecting residents, chief among them accommodation for Murambatsvina victims.

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