City Grapples with Debt
Gweru grapples with $33m debt
GWERU City Council has threatened to take legal action against defaulting ratepayers as the local authority grapples to recover $37 million it is owed by residents and companies.
Council said as a result of failure to settle rates and water charges, it was now finding it difficult to service its own debt that stands at $33 million.
The acting Director of Finance, Owen Masimba, told The Chronicle that they were considering legal action against defaulters.
“The domestic, industrial, commercial and government departments owe the local authority $37,212,322 and it has been increasing on a monthly basis.
“Only last year, they owed us about $20 million which has risen to $37 million,” he said.
“We’re now considering a number of legal options that we can pursue to recover what we’re owed. Soon we’ll start issuing defaulters with summons.”
He said if residents and companies paid off what they owe, council would be able to pay creditors like Zesa and TelOne.
“We’re grappling and we need money to pay off the debts and improve on service delivery,” he added.
Masimba urged residents to come forward and make payment plans with the local authority to avoid having their properties attached if council starts the litigation process.
GCC is also struggling to pay its workers.
Three weeks ago, the local authority’s movable property was attached by the Messenger of Court over $47,000 owed to former workers who were employed at the now defunct Go-Beer Breweries.