BY SILAS NKALA
HWANGE Local Board (HLB) is struggling to recover over $100 million owed by ratepayers and has tasked its councillors to engage residents so that they pay their bills.
The local authority had to seek the help of councillors after it failed to fulfil its service delivery obligations.
This was revealed in the HLB’s latest report.
Town secretary Ndumiso Mdlalose said councillors had been tasked to recover money owed by ratepayers in their wards.
“We are saying to councillors, look at how much money is in your ward and encourage residents to pay so that we deliver the service required, and in so doing it helps you (councillors) to get your ward development committee (Wadco) funds,” Mdlalose said.
The report revealed that 5% of rates paid by residents is ploughed back to communities through Wadcos so that they can implement developmental projects.
Mdlalose said HLB had already identified their debtors’ location and had done a debtor’s analysis in order to establish perennial debtors, and to come up with a debt collection strategy informed by the analysis.
HLB also said it had come up with targets to be met on monthly and annual basis by each department or section.
HLB vice-chairperson Admire Munhenga urged residents and other stakeholders to pay their debts in order to ensure quality and efficient service delivery.
“At one point I had to contact perennial rate defaulters from my ward and encouraged them to honour their obligations and the move paid dividends as some debtors started making payments,” he
The report said council was struggling to complete most of its capital projects due to lack of funds.