By Freedom Mupanedemo
Cash-strapped Kwekwe City Council has engaged debt collectors to recover $45 million owed by ratepayers.
Addressing a full council meeting, Kwekwe treasurer Mrs Rejoice Maweni said council has since served defaulting ratepayers with letters of demand.
“We have issued final demand letters to the defaulters. In the meantime, we are preparing a list of the defaulters which we are going to hand over to our lawyers,” she said.
Mrs Maweni said the move to take legal action against defaulting ratepayers was reached after all efforts to recover the money had failed.
“We exhausted all other means to try and convince the defaulters to pay. We were then left with one option, taking the legal route,” she said.
The move has, however, angered residents who said the council was being insensitive.
“This not the very best route to take against residents given the economic situation that we are facing as residents. They should be considerate.
“Instead of wasting money paying the lawyers, that money should have been channelled towards service delivery,” said Mr Alex Homela, who is the Kwekwe Residents and Ratepayers Association (KRRA) secretary-general.
Mr Homela said the council should insist on payment plans.
“We all agree that residents owe Kwekwe in excess of $42 million, but this is not unique to Kwekwe City Council, the economic situation in the country is affecting everyone. Council needs to appreciate that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Maweni expressed hope that Government was going to start paying the $15 million debt owed by Ziscosteel as stated in the 2019 National Budget. The Herald