MUTARE — The demise of industries in Mutare has affected the council’s revenue flows, impacting on service delivery, mayor Tatenda Nhamarare has said.
Presenting a paper titled Economics and Industrial Challenges during the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) annual congress on Wednesday, Nhamarare said there was little activity in the industrial site as companies had closed.
The CZI congress ends today.
“I grew up in this city and daily you would see a number of people coming from their work stations in the industrial sites. However nowadays you can hardly see that anymore. Big industries have closed,” Nhamarare said.
He said Mutare Board and Paper Mills (MBPM) had closed down while there was little activity at PG, Karina and Border Timbers.
“All this has negatively affected operations of Mutare City,” he said.
“It’s now difficult to attend to issues of service delivery because there is no money. I agree with you that there is corruption at Civic Centre, but there are a lot of challenges at Mutare City on which we should come together and solve collectively.
“What MBPM used to pay as rates was enough to pay the entire council employees and that the industries have gone we have arrears of about nine months.”
Nhamarare said the city was owed about $14 million just after a year following the scrapping of arrears by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.
Nhamarare said while the city acknowledged that major industries which used to employ thousands of people were now closed and residents could not afford to pay money to council, they should pay the little they had so that council would attend to urgent areas of service delivery.
In response, minister Bimha said government was committed to seeing the revival of industries in Mutare.