FINANCIALLY-STRANGLED local authorities have threatened to name and shame senior politicians and business executives whose outstanding rates bills have crippled their operations.
Source: ‘Councils to name and shame defaulting bigwigs’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 16, 2016
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Urban Councils’ Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) president Bernard Manyenyeni, who is also Harare mayor, said most councils across the country were struggling to provide services such as water and sewer as they were owed huge amounts by chefs in government and parastatals.
“It’s a pity that some people whom we know are able to pay are relenting on such responsibilities. As local authorities we are failing to provide to the expectations of our residents because some — especially those in the elite areas — are letting us down and soon we will publish their names. We will name and shame them,” he said.
“We are appealing to all politicians and our eminent people to pay their bills because we have realised that people in high-density suburbs settle their dues. But, it is the high earners like business executives and politicians among other celebrities who do not want to pay,” he said.
Harare City Council is owed over $405 million in unpaid bills while Bulawayo City Council is owed in excess of $117,4 million.
Masvingo City Council, according to documents from UCAZ, was owed in excess of $34 million with revenue collection said to be declining in all major cities. Gweru and Kadoma were owed $37 million and $10 million, respectively.
“What is worrying and the reason we are doing this (name and shame) is that senior politicians, including councillors, are not paying their rates. As a leader of the association which represents the interests of all local authorities, I am paying mine so that at least we have a responsible leadership. This appeal does not exclude our councillors. They should pay as well so that we have quality service delivery in our cities,” Manyenyeni said.