Kasukuwere Taken To Task Over Ballooning Council Debts

 Kasukuwere Taken To Task Over Ballooning Council Debts
Published: 2016 August 04 06:50:40 (1606 Views)


KADOMA mayor Muchineyi Chinyanganya has urged government to take over the millions of dollars of debts owed by local authorities to enable them to concentrate on service delivery.
Chinyanganya said most councils were in the red and failing to effectively deliver services to residents due to the huge debts they owed statutory bodies such as Zimra, Zesa and NSSA.
“Nearly 50% of our revenue collections go towards paying statutory payments, like to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and National Social Security Authority, leaving nothing for service delivery. It is in this light that I have requested the Minister of Local Government (Saviour Kasukuwere) to move a debt assumption Bill for local authorities in Parliament,” he said.
He criticised government’s move to take over the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe debt much to the benefit of a few connected individuals, while at the same time forcing councils to write off residents’ debts without coming up with a solution to local authorities’ creditors.
Kadoma is now owed $28 million since writing off all debts in 2013 and is currently collecting just slightly above 50% of its billed revenue monthly.
“Our debtors have grown from zero in 2013 to $28 234 016. Our residents are struggling to pay their bills with average collections from January to June being $426 079 from the billed total of $823 262, owing to the economic meltdown,” Chinyanganya said.
Kwekwe mayor Matenda Madzoke also said councils were suffocating under huge debts and could perform much better if they got help from central government.
“Our ability to deliver services is being compromised especially by Zimra which is milking us dry. We need some form of cushion if we are to save councils from collapse,” he said.




- NewsDay
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