GCC pleads with residents as its coffers run dry

By Martin Mawaya
Gweru city council (GCC) mayor Josiah Makombe has pleaded with the residents to pay their bills to ensure quality service delivery.
Addressing stakeholders at the Mayor’s parlour, Makombe said the number of debtors owing the local authority are increasing.

Gweru Mayor Josiah Makombe

“The city continues to experience financial woes due to reluctance by residents to honour their bills.
“Our monthly collections continue to lag behind and our debtors as at the 30st of August stood at ZW$186 671,377,” he said.
He said the low revenue collection had negatively impacted the local authority as they owe ZETDC million of dollars.

“The low revenue collection levels has got a knock effect on
creditors. We now owe ZETDC ZW$61million for power supplies to our water treatment works at Gwenoro,” he explained.
Makombe said the current increment on ZESA tariffs affects the local authority revenue.
“As you might be aware the same power utility has increased tariffs by 50% in September 2020.

“Our supplier for water treatment chemicals is now also indexing prices to the foreign currency auction exchange rate. This has seen prices of water treatment chemicals going up by 506% since January
2020,” said Makombe.
He added that residents can pay using the United States dollars.
“In line with Statutory instrument 185 of 2020 on dual pricing, my council has resolved to give stakeholders the option to pay their bills in either USD or Zimbabwean dollars,” said The Mayor, who is also councillor for ward 2.

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He argued stakeholders paying in foreign currency to demand USD receipt.
“I would however, implore on those residents who pay in USD to demand a receipt in USD for our internal control purposes,” he said.
The Gweru mayor welcomed the media role on unravelling the rot at the town house.
“I am happy that we have a good media team which is prompt to unveil ills that can kill service delivery,” added Makombe.

The media recently unmasked corruption by the senior management at the town house who allocated themselves more than one stand there by contravening their contract of employment.
This has prompted some residents to withhold payments of their bills saying the services offered by council is not satisfactory.

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