By Walter Mswazie
Masvingo residents have raised concern over the non-utilisation of the $300 000 road levy collected by council last year to service the city’s damaged roads.
It is understood that the local authority collected $24 road levy (in 2017) from each household to rehabilitate roads in some residential areas. The local authority collected over $700 000 and spent $400 000 on procurement of road equipment.
The balance of $300 000 was still in council’s bank account. Masvingo United Ratepayers and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) spokesperson Mr Godfrey Mutimba said council was not serious about improving service delivery yet it forced residents to pay the road levies.
“As residents, we feel the council is not serious at all in terms of improving on service delivery considering that they are sitting on $300 000 they collected through a road levy, yet most of the roads are in bad shape,” said Mr Mutimba.
“By not utilising the money, it shows that their aim was to just milk residents for no apparent reason. On the face of it, there was no need for residents to pay the road levy if council can’t utilise it.
“It is sad to note that money is losing value while sitting in the council’s bank account. If council does not utilise the money, we will mobilise residents to ignore such levies.”
According to minutes of a recent full council meeting, the public works and planning committee expressed concern over the non-utilisation of the road levy.
“The committee queried why the money was still lying idle in council’s bank account and depreciating value. The city engineer was instructed to separate funds from the Zimbabwe National Revenue Authority (ZINARA) from those from the roads levy in future to enhance transparency,” read part of the minutes. The Herald