In a development that seems to confirm the local authority’s dire straits, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has issued a garnishee order on Kwekwe City Council’s bank account.
According to insiders, NSSA has wiped out $20 000 deposited into the local authority’s account after issuing a $70 000 garnishee order as part of efforts to recover a $140 000 debt.
The sources said council was now in limbo and could fail to meet its salaries and wage bill this week.
“Council coffers are dry as we speak, following the garnishee order from NSSA.
They wanted $70 000 but our account had around $20 000.
What it means is that any deposits which will be made into the account will go to NSSA,” said the source. Council has admitted that NSSA had “taken” some money from its account but denied that this would have any effects on salaries and wages.
In an interview, an assistant treasurer only referred to as Mutizira admitted that the order had been issued but could not give the finer details saying when it happened he was on leave.
He said acting treasurer and audit manager Morris Mutema, who was not available, had all the information since he was the one dealing with the matter.
“Something like that happened but I don’t have the figures because I never dealt with the issue from the time it started. Mutema who is in Harare today (last Friday) is the one who has been handling the matter,” said Mutizira.
Council has accused NSSA of dealing in bad faith saying nobody from the local authority knew how they arrived at the figures which they were now taking from their account.
“I think they are working on commission because we don’t know how they arrived at that figure and why they garnisheeed the account without talking to us.
“I understand that they were supposed to have come back on Friday last week but they did not and instead they just went ahead to take the money.
“Every local authority is struggling and it’s not possible for us to pay NSSA at once. We have been able to meet our employees’ net salary and not gross salary. It is happening everywhere,” Mutizira said.
He was, however, quick to dismiss information that council coffers had run dry and that the local authority would fail to pay its workers on time.
“How can coffers of a local authority run dry? That’s not true. We make deposits daily and we have money to meet our employees’ salaries,” he said.