The decision by former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to write off debts owed by ratepayers just before the 2013 elections is still haunting Nyanga Rural District Council, which is now failing to provide efficient services to residents.
Source: Chombo debts directive haunts Nyanga council – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 10, 2017
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Nyanga council chief executive officer Zefania Jaravaza told a public hearing organised by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee in Mutare yesterday that the directive saw the local authority writing off debts of over
“We are faced with many challenges because residents just stopped paying rates. Those who were loyal and paying rates on time just stopped and they said council was not being fair, but this is still haunting us because of service delivery,’’ he said
“We are still trying to engage ratepayers by proving that their money is being put to good use. In our district we are known for good service delivery.’’
Jaravaza also said he was not happy with the government move allowing the Lands ministry to collect taxes from A1 and A2 farms as this was also impacting on development of councils.
He said the ministry was not remitting funds for development to local authorities.
“A1 and A2 farming areas need more service delivery as there are no schools, clinics and roads,’’ Jaravaza said.
“The existing roads are meant for a few people. But now many people are living there so there is need for road maintenance and construction, but the ministry (of Lands) is not remitting funds they collect to us.’’
He boasted that Nyanga was one of the best-managed local authorities in the country before mocking Harare as a “dark city” as most street lights there were not functioning.
Nyanga council treasurer Blessing Sithole said the local authority was channelling only 36% of its revenue for salaries.
“We don’t owe our workers money. Our net salary bill is $32 000, but our cashflow is not what we want it to be,’’ he said.