The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has garnished over US$100 000 from the Masvingo City Council bank account in reaction to the local authority' failure to pay the money it owes the taxi collector.
Even though the exact amount of the debt owed to ZIMRA could not immediately be ascertained, Masvingo Mayor, Hubert Fidze said service delivery has been compromised by this latest setback.
"I am currently away and haven't been given the finer details as to how much we owe ZIMRA which led them to take such drastic action. I believe though that the money we owe runs into millions.
"Our account has been emptied and we are worried because the money could have been put to good use and improve service delivery," said Fidze.
He said council is facing liquidity challenges owing to non-payment of rates, a problem which has been compounded by the current cash shortages in the country.
"We cannot operate optimally because and service our debts in time because residents and government departments are not paying their bills at all yet we have to pay salaries so this garnishee order is a blow to us," said Fidze.
Asked what measures council will take to force long defaulting government departments to pay, Fidze said they are considering employing the services of debt collectors against all defaulters.
"A motion has been moved to give names of all defaulters to the debt collectors but nothing has been finalised yet. At the moment, we plead with residents and institutions to come and make payment plans with the city council so that we may avoid any inconveniences," said Fidze.
Last year, it was revealed that council was owed in excess of US$30 million by government departments with the police, army and prison services constituting the biggest defaulters.
Masvingo Town Clerk Adolf Gushsa could not be reached for comment by the time of going to print.news