HARARE CITY Council is at war with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) with City Fathers saying the move to garnish the cash-strapped local authority was meant to put the city into further crisis.
Speaking during a full council meeting on Wednesday, councillors said the government, through Zimra and the Finance ministry was not being sincere in its actions and accused them of double-standards for failing to settle its more than $200 million debt with the local authority.
Glen Norah councillor Wellington Chikombo said that the government was not sincere in its actions and something should be done.
“It seems it’s a ploy to sabotage the operations of this council. I don’t expect the government to act in this way. They wrote off debts last year and that same government is garnishing council. Government is busy sabotaging council,” he said.
Deputy mayor Thomas Muzuva said Zimra was also supposed to write-off the council debt in the same manner government wrote-off the residents’ debt ahead of elections last year.
Council chief-whip Peter Moyo said the government’s action was “unheard of”.
“It boggles the mind for the Finance ministry to instruct such a move. Those are suffering workers of Harare, but government sees it fit to take the poor’s money,” Moyo said.
“It is not government’s fault; it is the ministry’s fault because they don’t know where the diamonds are found. ZimAsset is clear that it will look after poor people, but it is not doing anything for the poor in Harare.”
Zimra, on June 13, garnished council for $3 million over a $42 million debt.
City Fathers now blamed the government’s stance on the poor especially on service delivery in the city, saying it should now own up and settle its over $200 million debt to the local authority.
Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said although he shared the councillors’ anger on the matter, it was council’s duty to pay tax to government and promised to engage
relevant authorities to settle the matter.