CHITUNGWIZA Municipality has applied for borrowing powers in a bid to secure over $25 million it requires to rehabilitate sewage treatment works and to pay off retrenchment packages for laid-off workers.
Chitungwiza town clerk George Makunde made the application in terms of Section 290 (2) (a) of the Urban Councils Act chapter 29:15 to finance the rehabilitation of Zengeza Sewage Treatment Works, to fund the dormitory town’s retrenchment exercise and the retirement of employees with over 60 years of service.
The rehabilitation of the waterworks will gobble a proposed $5,5 million while retrenchment and retirement will require
“Details of the proposals will be open for inspection by members of the public at the municipal head office during normal working hours,” Makunde said.
He said any objections which residents and ratepayers wished to make should be lodged with his office by July 2.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the town on Tuesday rejected a proposal by the authorities to hire a debt collector to recover the money that the town was owed by residents in unpaid rates and service charges.
This was after former Zanu PF legislator Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana of Mangwana and Partners Legal Practitioners had been awarded the contract to carry out the debt collection services.
Stakeholders, including churches and the local business community, accused council of leaving them out in the search of workable solutions to problems bedevilling the town.
Representatives of various stakeholders present identified a number of issues contributing to the low or non-payment of rates in the town.
These ranged from the general economic challenges prevailing in the country, the negative impact of the slash on debts by government on council bills in July 2013 on the eve of the harmonised elections, poor service delivery by council and failure to involve stakeholders in the council budget formulation stages.
Mangwana promised during the meeting that he would be considerate in the fulfilment of his newly-given mandate in Chitungwiza.
He said his role might lead to ratepayers getting garnishing orders, ratepayers’ properties being attached and auctioned by the Messenger of Court, civil imprisonment of defaulters for 90 days or residents’ houses being sold to recover costs in case of any defaulters to a given court judgment.
Stakeholders, however, vowed to fight the process “to the bitter end”.