HARARE City Council (HCC) is in a financial crisis which has seen it failing to pay its workers on time for the first time in many years.

Town clerk Hosea Chisango yesterday held a revenue collection, generation maximisation and cost containment brainstorming meeting with district officers in the capital, a move meant to devise ways to improve revenue collection.

“We are here because the City of Harare is in a financial crisis. For the first time in many years we are failing to pay salaries on time. l want to encourage all of you to communicate openly  where we are brainstorming on how to improve revenue collection. This will build a culture of trust and collaboration, which is essential for achieving our goals,” he said.

Harare is facing acute water shortages with a health time bomb ticking, among other service delivery problems.

Chisango added that the municipality had reached an all-time low in revenue collection, saying this had affected payment of salaries.

“As district officers in your new enhanced roles as drivers of service delivery and revenue collection at the local level, it is important that you are customer responsive, dedicated and self-driven, particularly in ensuring that the residents in your districts pay for the services rendered. You must be self-driven in ensuring that customer complaints are addressed on time.

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“You will all agree with me that we have reached an all-time low in revenue collection because as a collective, we have not made reasonable efforts to collect what we are owed,” he added.

Harare recently elected a new mayor, Ian Makone, who said corruption, among other things, was himdering service delivery.

“We will work side by side with the deputy mayor to bring life to this city and monitor all the cash flows. We will not have mercy for anyone involved in corruption. Arrests and dismissals will be made, but we encourage the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and other institutions responsible for investigations to do their work thoroughly so that no one is wrongfully charged,” the mayor said.