By Nhau Mangirazi
Financially hamstrung Karoi Town Council, which is owed $6,4 million in rates, has decided to engage residents groups to map the way forward on bill settlements.
“We are engaging residents’ representatives to map the way forward on payment of outstanding debts. We need to move forward and look for solutions that enhance financial inflow so that service delivery can improve,” finance chairperson Thomas Mbiri said at an ad hoc sub-finance committee meeting held recently.
Council finance director Tongai Namusala revealed that ratepayers owed the local authority $6 419 200,10 as at February 28 this year and that council was failing to pay creditors, affecting service delivery.
“We have statutory obligations that we must meet monthly including settling the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s $1 388 319,45, Zimbabwe Development Fund ($90 129,12), National Social Security Authority $24527,62 among others. Creditors are owed $3 199 255,58 in total. We also have monthly gross salaries standing at $104 529,25 that council has failed to meet and now workers have gone for several months without salaries,” Namusala said.
Ward two councilor Travolta Matekenya said council was in a “financial crisis”.
Karoi Residents and Ratepayers Association chairperson Frackie Kuchekwa said they will meet with residents challenging council management to lead by example.
“As we are working on meeting residents, we must be clear that our councillors, management do not owe council to convince residents to pay up,” he said.