HomeNewsChimene pleads with Mutare residents over rates

Chimene pleads with Mutare residents over rates

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MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene has pleaded with Mutare residents to pay their rates to the local authority amid revelations that the eastern border city was owed over $25 million in unpaid rates.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Addressing various stakeholders in Mutare over the weekend, Chimene said she would soon embark on a massive campaign to encourage residents to pay while also urging city fathers to be accountable for the revenue they collected.

“This is the capital city of Manicaland. What is happening with you, residents? I know debts were scrapped and from there, we should have reformed and paid,” Chimene said.

Chimene’s call came at a time when the United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers’ Trust gave council a 30-day ultimatum to deliver or they would boycott payment of rates.

Said Chimene: “There is nothing moving here in this city. There are no street lights, no traffic lights and potholes everywhere. As residents, are we happy with this? Should we continue staying in a city like this?

“Residents owe $24 million and where does the money to do proper service delivery come from?

“Do you want us to remove the debts again? I will go to different sections in the city to talk to the people about this issue. Council workers need to be paid and the city is dirty. I will talk to the residents on this one,” she promised the city fathers who were present.

She also said diamond mining firms should also play a part in improving service delivery in the city.

Chimene, who stirred controversy last month when she threatened to take over the running of the local authority accusing city fathers of sleeping on duty, threatened to name and shame councillors and council officials involved in corrupt activities.

In the run-up to the 2013 harmonised elections, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo ordered all local authorities to write off residents’ rates arrears in a move which was widely condemned by the opposition as a Zanu PF vote-buying gimmick.

Several local authorities are still reeling under the effects of that directive.

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