The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has issued a $60 000 garnishee order against Karoi Town Council for failing to remit taxes.
The municipality, which had not been paying taxes for an unspecified period, recently had its accounts with various financial institutions frozen.
Town secretary Maxwell Kaitano confirmed the development.
“It is true Zimra issued the garnishee order. What should be appreciated is that just like any other council, we remain indebted to Zimra which is one of our major creditors,” said Kaitano, adding the cash-strapped council had pledged remittances to the taxman after agreeing on a payment plan.
Added Kaitano: “Our accounts with various banks that had been affected by the garnishee order have since been normalised. This is all I can say for now.”
According to council insiders, of the over $60 000 they are owed, Zimra only managed to get $5 000 from council’s ZABG account while at other banks balances were in the red.
Zimra’s move resulted in the already heavily-indebted council failing to pay workers’ December wages and salaries before the festive season.
The workers are also owed their October and November salaries.
Until this week, some of the employees had reportedly not received their pay.
Although efforts to get comment from the Workers’ Committee chairperson — one Bangura — proved fruitless, employees who spoke to NewsDay expressed anger at top managers for ignoring their plight while they were believed to be living large.
“I had such a bleak holiday. I ended up surrendering my television set in order to get a loan from a money lender so my wife at my rural home could get something to give the children.
“I had no money for festivities yet council bosses were holidaying with their families,” said a council employee, who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation.
Kaitano, however, defended council, saying the predicament was not confined to Karoi alone, but most councils countrywide were also in the red due to huge debts owed by residents and ratepayers.