Gweru residents up in arms over fire levy

Elizabeth Mashiri
Midlands Bureau

Gweru – Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) has questioned the introduction of a fire levy by the local authority after $65 493.80 of the targeted $5 million collected since 2019 lost value due to inflation while it sat in a bank account.

Gweru City Council introduced the fire levy in April 2019 ranging between $36 for households and $210 for industries to be used in financing the construction of two fire substations in Mkoba and Senga respectively.

GRRA recently wrote a petition to acting town Clerk, Vakai Chikwekwe complaining against the manner in which the fund is being handled. He accused council of a poor revenue collection system and poor strategy in the use of the money that has been collected towards the project so far.

He said Council was supposed to have collected about $5 million by May 31, 2020 but it had only collected $65 000 to date and this reflected a poor levy collection system.

He added that instead of putting to good use the $65 000, council left it in the account until it had become worthless.
“The collection system is poor and now we have $65 000 losing value in the bank. They could have used the money to start the project. Council need to be more serious than this,” said Selipiwe.

Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe dismissed the complaints as fuss over nothing although he did not spell out what strategy council has in the face of spiraling inflation.

“Some people just talk over nothing. There is no issue because the $65 000 is still in the bank. It is too little what can we do with it?” he asked.

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