Pay up or else, Chimene warns residents

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Mandiitawepi Chimene

MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has ordered Mutare residents to pay their outstanding bills to enable the local authority to provide efficient services and warned there would not be any debt reprieve from government ahead of next year’s harmonised elections.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

Speaking during belated commemorations of World Habitat Day in Mutare last Friday, Chimene said: “There are people who are failing to pay rentals. They are leaving their debts to accumulate hoping that the government is going to write-off their debts since we are going into elections next year. There is nothing like that, please pay your debts.’’

She added: “There is no free lunch please, even at church you pay, so why would you not want to pay your rentals?”

The Zanu PF government in the run-up to the 2013 took a populist route of ordering all 92 urban and rural councils to write-off ratepayers’ debts for the period 2009 to June 2013, leaving most councils financially dry.

However, the decision made then by former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo backfired as most councils were struggling to meet their service delivery obligations.

Chimene urged private land developers to stop exploiting home-seekers and pleaded with them to build high-rise residential buildings to save on space.

“I am urging you, private land developers, not to charge exorbitant fees because we are also giving you land. As government, we are there to formulate policies and we give you land to advance our work,’’ she said.