Byo council hits back at Chiwenga…as residents threaten rates boycott

THE Bulawayo City Council has rapped Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga for urging residents to boycott paying rates at a time government departments and parastatals were owing a combined $7 million in unpaid bills to the local authority.


Chiwenga last weekend told Zanu PF supporters in Harare to stop paying council rates until service delivery improves.
Bulawayo’s latest full council report shows that government ministries owed the local authority $7 378 046 at the end of May, with the Home Affairs ministry being the biggest debtor at $4 094 213.

Other debtors ministries include Health ($ 1 101 173), Higher Education ($1 204 666), Public Service ($51 882), Defence ($327 695), Justice ($91 570), Local Government ($424 464) and Transport ($36 125).

The Judicial Service Commission and Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) also have huge unpaid council rates.
Ward 4 councillor, Silas Chigora yesterday blamed the recurring problems in the city on the government and described Chiwenga’s rates boycott call as reckless and meant to discredit opposition–led local authorities.

“I find the comments made by the highest office in our land as shocking and unbelievable. The Vice-President, must be reminded that councils depend on money paid by residents to deliver services and encouraging residents to desist from paying their dues is in distaste.

“I know he was politicking, trying to discredit local authorities, but we have tried to provide the best services given the huge amounts of money that the government owes us.

“Zinara also owes us a lot of money ($400 000), in fact it owes all local councils. In the last full council meeting, I had requested management to follow up on Zinara and requested a report that will tell the nation the number of cars that are registered in Bulawayo, how much each car pays and how much we are supposed to get and how they will pay us the money they owe,” Chigora said.

This came as Fourwinds residents have threatened to boycott rates payments over police and council’s failure to rein in commuter omnibus operators and a bar operator who were posing a serious environmental health threat and disturbing their peace.

Residents this week complained that commuter omnibus operators have created an illegal terminus at Fourwinds and were touting for passengers, breaking council pipes to wash their vehicles, urinating outside homes since there were no public toilets at the spot and dumping garbage on their properties.

Fourwinds Neighborhood Association secretary, Mkhululi Moyo said residents have been engaging council and the police over the issue for two years without any progress.

“Numerous police reports have been filed, as well as fines issued for operating after hours, nothing has changed.

Another resident Charles Nyathi of number 156 Matopos road has relocated to his rural home because of the situation. The value of our properties has dropped, it is now difficult to sell our property to estate agents at a reasonable price due to this situation,” Moyo said.

Moyo said they will soon organise a meeting to mobilise residents to stop paying rates to BCC, indicating it was the only weapon at their disposal that could get council’s attention. He said they will channel their rates to their lawyer whom they had engaged to help them solve the situation.

A Fourwinds resident said: “Drivers demonstrate aggressive behaviour, one pulled a knife on a resident who approached them. Blue Turkey sports bar owned by Wheels is operating after hours, disturbing residents and attracting large crowds. We have met on several occasions with the mayor who admits there is illegal activity happening within council areas.”

Mayor Martin Moyo said the town planning department was aware of the situation and was doing something about it.

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  1. Thats the reason why i always say, black politicians are USELESS, CORRUPT, GREEDY, SELFISH AND LAZY. Chiwenga does not know anything. The only role he played was to remove that useless Mugabe.

  2. Zimbabwe is in this sh!t becoz of stup!d politicians.

  3. Mhaaata mfana when did you hear VP Chiwenga saying that people should not pay rates? This newsday reporting is very pathetic

  4. I dont have problems with zanu pf but people who support zanu pf. Wakaona munhu anoteerera chiwenga munhu iyeye haana dzakakwana. Chiwenga is a VP not by merit but by force, all he knows is to intimidate people. The man has nothing to offer. Mugabe never worked with best brains in his life but failures, so to expect greatness or success in this ED govt it will be asking to much. All the best brains where either killed or chased by Mugabe using his dogs ( Chiwenga and ED) upon REALISING that their end is near they resort to what they know best. So wasting your time thinking that you will get anything good or better than these man is asking too much. 2008 Mugabe had admitted but the bulldog ED thought otherwise and went for the blood of innocent people. Rine ngozi

    1. 100% correct

  5. Just ignore this Chiwenga EDiot. He forgets it is his mate Robert who asked councils to wipe off all debt leaving councils with no money. If rates were paid up council would have money to spent.

  6. Kikiki

  7. Bulawayo City Council has stood up to be the better and well managed council compared to the rotten Harare City Council. I salute both BCC and the Bulawayo residents. Let us just work and support each other. When there are issues please let us sit down and resolve them just the way we have been doing. We also have the best run and run commuter omnibus system. Let us maintain the respect and dignity that has always been part of our symbol. Let us desist from a rogue behaviour characteristic of the Harare Commuter Omnibuses that is rotten, dangerous and uncultured. Let us shun bad behaviour and continue to be exemplary to the other Zimbabweans. Am so proud to be a Bulawayean. I beg my fellow townsfolks to adhere to the laid down by laws and the respect for others. Blue Turkey sports bar should abide by the council regulations or relocate to Harare where there is lawlessness. We want peace and harmony here in Bulawayo. Please let us work together for a better Bulawayo

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