CHINHOYI City Council has launched a programme whereby residents and ratepayers pay part of their debt and have the remainder written-off.
The debt relief programme is independent of the mandatory debt write-off carried out by all local authorities in June following a directive by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.
In a statement yesterday, acting town clerk Abel Gotora said the local authority reached the decision after realising that most council debtors were struggling to settle their dues owing to the prevailing liquidity crunch bedevilling the economy.
“Being aware of the liquidity situation obtaining in our economy, taking cognisance of the general plight of our residents and ratepayers and critical significance of sustaining municipal business in Chinhoyi, intent on improving services and capital development for the public good . . . and empowered by an Ordinary Council Resolution of 13 November 2013, the Municipality of Chinhoyi intends to implement a rates and service charges clearance promotion,” Gotora said.
The exercise is expected to run until December 31 for individual households and December 9 for schools and corporate clients.
Gotora noted that bills for individuals would be slashed by 30% while primary and secondary schools will enjoy a 15% rates cut.
Corporates will have 10% of their bill balances deducted
upon full payment during the promotion period. Debtors who fail to take advantage of the relief measure would have their full
arrears owed to council restored after the lapse of the grace
period according to the acting town boss.
Gotora said council would pursue more punitive measures towards errant debtors, including attachment and auctioning of property by the Messenger of Court.
This is the second time this year that the council has offered debtors reprieve by introducing the rate-cut promotion.