ZANU PF bigwigs in Matabeleland North Province have been accused of sabotaging the MDC-dominated Kusile Rural District Council (RDC) in Lupane by refusing to pay rates and interfering with its income generating projects.
Report by Richard Muponde Senior Reporter
The move has reportedly affected service delivery in Lupane, Matabeleland North.
Speaking in an interview in Lupane on Saturday, the local authority’s chairman for finance councillor Kenny Mpofu said council could not meet its targets because Zanu PF officials were not paying their rates.
“There is a lot of politics in our revenue collection. Timber concessions and rates from the farms, A1 and A2, are our cash cows,” he said.
“Farmers, mainly from Zanu PF, who were resettled, are refusing to pay rates.
“These are big people who are refusing.
“They are also interfering in our timber concessions and at the moment we have stopped harvesting timber, which is one of our main contributors to revenue.”
A number of senior Zanu PF officials own farms in the district while others run timber logging businesses.
Mpofu said the council tried to engage the officials who were not paying taxes, but they were not willing to co-operate. He said council suspected that the officials were sabotaging the local authority because it was dominated by the Welshman Ncube-led MDC.
“They want us to fail. However, we have since engaged lawyers to force them to pay their rates and summons have been issued against them,” he said.
Matshobane Ncube of Phulu Ncube Legal Practitioners yesterday confirmed that Kusile RDC had engaged them to recover money from defaulters.
“It’s true that we were engaged by the RDC to recover its money and we have issued quite a number of summons to defaulters,” he said.
Mpofu, however, said they have made progress in efforts to adequately supply water to Lupane from the recently commissioned –Bubi Lupane Dam.
“Work at the water works is progressing well,” he said. “The building of a purification plant is at an advanced stage and we are certain by early next year, water would be pumped to Lupane centre.” Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai commissioned the dam in June this year.