Kwekwe ropes in debt collectors to recover $43 million
By Michael Magoronga
Kwekwe City Council has engaged debt collectors to recover more than $43 million owed by companies and individual ratepayers to improve service delivery.
Mutatu and Partners Legal Practitioners on behalf of Kwekwe City Council, have been distributing letters advising ratepayers to settle outstanding bills within a week.
“We are instructed to demand as we hereby do, payment together with our collection commission within seven days hereof. If you fail to do so we shall proceed to court without further notice,” read part of the letter signed by Ms Primrose Mutatu.
Kwekwe Town Clerk, Mr Emmanuel Musara, said the local authority has been operating on a shoestring budget, hence the desperate move.
“We need to improve service delivery and ratepayers have to play their part by paying what they owe council. We were left with no option but to engage our lawyers over the non-payment of rates by residents and companies,” he said.
Kwekwe City Treasurer Ms Rejoice Maweni said Ziscosteel owed council more than $16 million, Redcliff Municipality $3,1 million and individual households owe a total of $24 million while schools owe council $71 000.
“Redcliff municipality had promised to pay $40 000 every month but unfortunately they are not paying anything towards offsetting their bill that has since ballooned from $2 million to $3.1 million,” she said.
Schools were also a major setback to council’s smooth flow of service delivery as most of them were not paying for their water and rates.
“Amaveni High owes council $18 000, Emthonjeni $12 000 and Kushinga Primary owes $10 000. Seriously in as much as we want to deliver the service, everyone should play their part,” said Ms Maweni.
She said council had already asked councillors to engage schools and urge them to offset their bills to ensure improved service delivery.
Council has also introduced a number of strategies including launching a mobile application to try and boost its coffers. The Chronicle