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Chipinge Town Council converts land debts into US$

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Chipinge Town Council converts land debts into US$


Fungayi Munyoro-Chingaira
Chipinge Times Reporter

CHIPINGE – In a show of declining confidence in the RTGS$, Chipinge Town Council, one of the richest local authorities in Manicaland has decided to convert all outstanding debts on land sales to US$.
This was announced last week through a statement released by the local authority.
In the move which has drawn mixed feelings from residents, the local authority has urged all those with land debts to clear them by May 31, 2022 or have them converted to US$ at the going bank rate. The move is being carried out to lock value.

A council spokesperson told Chipinge Times that the local authority is owed RTGS$ 98 million from land sales that include residential stands, commercial stands and Industrial stands. Some of the debts have been outstanding since 2020.
” Chipinge Town Council is going to change outstanding balances on land sales from RTGS to USD from June 1, 2022. To those with land sales arrears please come and pay your bills to avoid any inconveniences,” read the statement.
Some residents told Chipinge Times in interviews that preserving value of the money was not the issue but good governance and competent management are the qualities lacking at the local authority.

They said that it is the same local authority that bought a $13 million road compactor that is not working that is now making life difficult for residents by converting their debts into US$.
“The issue is not about maximizing revenue collection but it is how that revenue is used. Council must first recover the $13 million spent on a defunct road compactor before it siphons more money from the struggling residents,” said Peter Fachi
Prominent businessman Godwill Mlambo however, said it is a noble idea for the local authority to lock the value of the debts.

“The town council is not fully dollarizing. It needs value for this money because the funds need to be used for servicing the land. This is rebasing to keep the funds valuable for the services needed in those areas. Rebasing is to convert your current credit to USD using the prevailing interbank rate then going forward the credit will be abreast with the prevailing inter-bank rate so one can still pay in RTGS,” said Mlambo.
Pedzisai Mudende said council must first address the issue of a dead compactor that it bought using ratepayers’ money.

“Let’s start by talking about the $13 million that was used to buy a non-functional compactor. That compactor was bought using our money. It’s better we make sure the compactor is working than making people pay money that is being abused. We will wait for June 1 otherwise we will not even pay in RTGS,” he said.
Last week the acting Town Secretary James Mutemera said the local authority is being owed $343 million in unpaid bills which is hampering its efforts in improving service delivery.https://masvingomirror.com/

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