Defaulting farmers leave Hurungwe council broke

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Farmers in Hurungwe are reportedly failing to pay rates, resulting in the local rural district council only managing to collect a paltry 15% of the $1,7 million revenue projections for this year.

By Nhau Mangirazi

Hurungwe Rural District Council chief executive officer Misheck Joram Moyo told NewsDay at Magunje growth point yesterday that failure by mostly farmers to pay rates had resulted in the local authority being unable to provide essential services such as repairing and drilling of boreholes, resurfacing of roads and provision of more health facilities.

“Many of our people think council is an animal that generates money from somewhere when, in fact, as residents, ratepayers and the business community, they are the council,” he said.

“For us to discharge developmental projects, we need everyone’s input financially. They demand development yet they do not want to pay as little as $5 annually for us to kickstart developmental projects. We cannot do anything on our own without their input financially.”

He said most farmers were not honouring payment plans they entered into with council to offset outstanding rates.

A1 farmers are supposed to pay $15 per year for the land they have, with $10 being for land rental, while $5 is unit tax that goes to rural district councils.

“We are failing to build more schools and clinics to shorten long distances travelled by sick members of the community to access nearest health facilities. Some pregnant women are walking over 50km to access health care, yet some farmers are not paying as little as $5 to sustain us a council,” Moyo said.

“We want to do more, but we are hamstrung financially. Unfortunately, many of these non-paying farmers demand more from us in the form of resurfaced roads ahead of the rainy season as well as boreholes, but do not want to pay. Where do they think we can generate funds for development if they are not paying?”

He said the local council had initially suggested approaching the courts to recover the outstanding money, but opted to enter into payment plans with affected farmers.

1 COMMENT

  1. In other words the comrades were given free munda and now even refuse to pay a few dollars to the council, this is the result of failed politics.

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