Gwanda issues legal notice to defaulting residents

Mayor Thulani Moyo told Southern Eye that no defaulter will be spared.

GWANDA Municipality has threatened to take legal action against defaulting residents whose accounts for rates are in arrears.

Gwanda town clerk Priscilla Nkala warned residents and business owners to take the notice seriously to avoid legal action.

In a statement this week, Nkala gave notices to all property owners with overdue accounts that legal action will commence before the end of this month.

“All costs related to this legal action shall be passed on to property owners with accounts in default. Once the legal action has commenced then all engagements pertaining to these overdue accounts shall no longer be handled in the normal course of operations but through legal operations,” she said.

Mayor Thulani Moyo told Southern Eye that no defaulter will be spared.

“It goes without saying that anyone owing huge amounts will be subject to legal action regardless of whether it is a residential or commercial property owner.

“We will pick those with huge figures. I have noticed that according to the statistics, no one in the business community owes less than US$1 300,” Moyo said.

He said the local authority had a lot of expenses to pay and the funds to do so were running low.

Moyo said residents should pay their bills so that council can provide services.

“The municipality needs money to pay the Zimbabwe National Water Authority for its raw water supplies. We need money to buy chemicals to treat that water, paying Zesa, workers’ salaries, refuse collection, motor spares for fixing trucks and so forth,” he said.

Moyo said Gwanda was on target to ensure quality service delivery to the town.

“The process of water supply disconnection is on-going and we will be sending court cases in batches because of court charges. We are targeting each and every suburb,” he said.

The municipality said it was open to agreeing on reasonable payment plans. Gwanda Municipality is owed more than US$330 million by both residents and corporate clients in unpaid service bills.

In April last year, the municipality was forced to disconnect water supplies to defaulting ratepayers to recover what it is owed.

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