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Gweru City imposes 5% penalty on defaulters

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Gweru City imposes 5% penalty on defaulters

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SYDNEY MUBAIWA 

MIDLANDS BUREAU 

GWERU – Cash-strapped Gweru City Council has introduced a 5% penalty on clients who default on payment of rates and this is according to a Council resolution that was passed on Monday last week. 

The penalty is effective from April 25, 2022.

Councilors who spoke in different interviews with The Mirror said the financial woes at the local authority were so bad that sometimes there is no money for fuel.

According to the resolution the 5% applies when one has an outstanding debt by year end and its charged per annum. 

The local authority said the penalty is justified by the ballooning debts owed by residents, the business community and Government departments. The resolution said the penalty is intended to push clients to pay rates on time to improve service delivery and smooth running of council operations. 

Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) director, Cornlia Selipiwe called for engagement between the council and stakeholders so that residents know what was exactly going on.

The local authority is owed over RTGS$600 million by residents and over RTGS$1 billion by the business community. 

Speaking at the 693 Ordinary Council Meeting held at the Mayor’s parlour, Ward 10 Councillor Charles Chikozho who is a member of the Finance committee said his committee is working on mechanisms to recover all debts that the council is owed.

“As the finance committee, we are coming with a mechanism which we think will help us in our revenue flows, we are trying to recover what we are owed by residents and the business community,” he said.

Ward 17 Councillor, Farai Muza said council was cash strapped hence the need to collect all the money it is owed. 

Trust Chineni, the Environment, Works and Town Planning committee chairman said projects have stalled because of lack of financial resources.

“As a committee we are pushing the finance committee to raise money for projects.

“We are hamstrung by financial problems that we don’t even have money to procure fuel,” said Chineni.

Meanwhile Gweru residents have expressed concern over the 5% penalty saying engagement was always key in determining everything.

Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association (GUPRARDA) Director, David Chikore cautioned residents on the need to avoid debt accumulation.https://masvingomirror.com/

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