The cash-strapped Chitungwiza Municipality has extended an early Christmas gift to its residents by asking debtors to pay at least 50% of their rates arrears and have the remainder written off.
The municipality said in a statement at the weekend the offer, valid between September 30 and November 30, would not apply to residents with outstanding water bills.
But, the city warned legal action would be taken against those with outstanding bills by end of the two-month grace period.
Part of the statement signed by town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa reads:
“Chitungwiza Municipality is inviting all those in the commercial and residential sectors within Chitungwiza who are in default with payment of rents and rates arrears to the municipality, calculated as at the cut-off date of Friday September 30, to pay half (50%) of the whole outstanding amount by Wednesday, November 30, and have 50% of their outstanding amount written off.”
“This is virtually an early Christmas treat for all those concerned, but this offer is not valid in terms of water consumption charges,” said Tanyanyiwa.
But, Chitungwiza mayor Philemon Chipiyo professed ignorance over the matter.
“I don’t know anything about that. I am in Mutare, but I don’t remember discussing that. Maybe if they had asked me, I would give them advice,” said Chipiyo.
Chipiyo’s remarks confirm the long-standing wrangles between the mayor and town clerk over control of the city.
Chitungwiza Municipality owes Harare millions of dollars in unpaid water bills and is in desperate need of cash to settle the bill and normalise relations with Harare, their supplier of water.