Harare City Council, government in mortal kombat

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.

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  1. In as much the council should be paying tax to Zimra there is also need to for the state to consider the move they did of cancelling out bills and at least waive some part of what council owes the taxman. however council should do something about collection what is owed right now and stop abusing funds at such critical times in addition workers need to be paid and a human resources audit is necessary at the town house.

    i feel rather than complaining as citizens lets also take part in situations where we can, for instance clean u campaigns and avoid littering.

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  2. The debt the City of Harare owes to ZIMRA is mainly for PAYEE and VAT.

    The City cancelled debts totalling over $200 000 000. This means the City had not collected VAT on this money and therefore the City should make the necessary adjustments to reduce the ZIMRA debt by an amount equal to VAT on the uncollected debt, if this has not been done,

    The other challenge is that the City pays VAT on invoices basis means the City is at a disadvantage as it has to pay VAT to ZIMRA whilist it has not collected the VAT from the raterpayers. This actually means the City is at a disadvantage.

    Going forward the City should negotiate with ZIMRA to pay VAT on collection basis.

    Government(ZIMRA is part of government) owes the City over $200 000 000 and the City owes government $43 000 000 according to the article, Is it not possible for the two parties to set off the debt ($200m-$43)so that the Government will remain with a debt of $157 000 000.

    1. The cancellation of debts if it was done via the reversal of bills at VATable Credit notes this would have reversed the VAT due to ZIMRA. Unless the reversal was done via a journal to the Debtors ledger without affecting the original bills then they are in trouble. I am sure our learned friends at Sunshine City are accounting gurus. However it would appear the ZIMRA dues are in relation to the obscene perks!!!

  3. Council Servant

    If Government owes council over $200m through its various departments it is sheer madness for the same Govt to instruct ZIMRA to garnish council funds over $42m owed to ZIMRA. There is failure by Government to understand fundamental principles of accounting. Worse still being the same Government that directed councils to write off debts owed to council over five years. MIND BOGGLING ISN’T IT?

  4. zvinoda kuenderwa kuchikoro here kuti Zimra inoda tax pamari isina kugamushirwa ne council nokuda kwe “mawrite offs”. Mutsauko uri papi pane kureva mutero pamunhu arota abata million dollars!
    Problem kwese kwese iri pakuti Zimra calculates tax on “billed” revenue not on “collected” revenue.
    Someone is making fools of everybody else iye ozviita muzivi ane brilliance pa tax collection. In the end unozongoona kuti hapana brilliance dzacho. I voo-doo economics.

  5. “It is not government’s fault; it is the ministry’s fault”. Can anyone understand what this means?

  6. Harare mayor is obviously not in touch with the reality of this issue,when a debt is written off it means no other authority will collect anything in connection with that write off. Unless legally Chombo’s action were not properly backed up then we can all agree that no official communication was sent regarding the writting off of residents debts,so residents will be served back with old debts,then ZIMRA comes in and our finance ministry bt if Chombo’s move was legal then hapana nyaya vana ZIMRA you are out.

  7. Am told some teacher at Queen Elizabeth is having a 30 minute lesson everyday where she is scolding and embarrassing young girls for the sins of their parents: non payment of school fees. Why torture the young girls, why not summon the parents and vent ur anger on them. Zimbos Zimbos pliz this is child abuse at its worst

  8. Dindingwe rinonaka richikweva rimwe ka, iro tikakweviwa roti mavara angu azara ivhu. the council is busy towing vehicles to its stores yard then charge $17 plus fines in excess of $100 a day then they refuse to issue out tickets for a week. Kuti muite mari ka. Is that fair ?? Now Zimra comes in they garnish yo account maaukti this that. Its now a dof eat dog situation. Council be fair and reasonable to us Zimbabweans. Zimra torai yese mari iyoyo

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