SERVICE delivery at Gweru City Council has reportedly stalled, as the cash-strapped local authority battles to recover over $130 million owed to it by ratepayers, Southern Eye has learnt.
BY Stephen Chadenga
Town clerk, Elizabeth Gwatipedza confirmed the development yesterday, saying the debt had accumulated over the past two years, with government departments owing most of the money in unpaid bills.
“Our debtors owe us $130 million and I am not sure if all is recoverable given that some companies have closed down,” she said.
“I have since told officials (at Town House) to compile information on how much of the $130 million in our books we can recover, otherwise we have to devise other ways to keep operational.”
Gwatipedza said council, on the other hand, owes its creditors $40 million. These include power utility, Zesa Holdings and the National Social Security Authority.
In 2014, the local authority wrote off debts for institutions, commercial and industrial customers for the period July to December to encourage payment of bills, although the move paid little dividends, as few managed to settle their dues.
Last year, the municipality threatened legal action against ratepayers with outstanding bills, although the councillors later reversed the decision on humanitarian grounds.