By Yeukai Karengezeka
Chitungwiza Municipality’s ability to deliver services has been compromised by the increase in the money it is now owed by ratepayers, which has increased from $65,5 million in August to $70,2 million.
Commercial clients owe the local authority $27,4, while residents owe $42,8 million.
Finance director Mrs Evangelista Machona said council operations had been severely affected by the debts.
“We have noted that our debtors figure has increased and most of the money is owed by the residents. They are not paying their bills and this has affected us badly,” she said.
Mrs Machona urged ratepayers to honour their bills and advised those with outstanding bills to visit council offices to make payment plans.
“We are advising all our clients to pay up their bills so that the municipality can be able to provide adequate services. We are directing all those with large amounts to come to the Credit Control Unit and agree on a payment plan,” she said.
She also said those that fail to respond to their letters of final demand will face litigation.
“We have already sent out letters of final demand to people who owe $1 000 and above and if they do not respond we will send out summons through the Messenger of Court and they risk having their property attached,” said Mrs Machona.
The cash strapped municipality bills over 52 000 properties and less than 25 percent of the property owners are up to date with their bills.
The municipality introduced a 90-day window where it was offering 30 percent discounts for ratepayers who were owing not more $150 that expired end of November.
Unfortunately, the Finance Department was unable to indicate how much revenue was collected during the window period to gauge the impact of the offer. The Herald