MASVINGO - As the economy continues to plummet, with government struggling to pay its civil servants who are also major ratepayers, the Masvingo City council has felt the heat as rates inflows immensely declined.
The effect also resulted in council delaying paying some of its employees their June salaries.
Mayor Hubert Fidze confirmed the development and said the delay of civil servants' salaries have seriously affected council operations.
"The majority of residents are civil servants and these were the people who were religiously paying their rates in time. Over the past months we have experienced a drop in rates payment not because people do not want to pay but they do not have the money.
"We will get into a situation where we will have a huge backlog because the money we are getting is all channelled towards service delivery and little will be left for the payment of salaries," said Fidze.
Town Clerk Adolf Gusha said they are in the process of engaging the workers' committee so that they can negotiate a way forward.
"Yes, we are only one month behind with our salary payments but it is not so bad considering the financial deficit we are operating under. The council has no money and we are going to have a meeting with the workers' committee so that we can map the way forward. We will explain our situation to them but once the money is available, we will pay forthwith," said Gusha.
"We are owed millions and most of the debtors have failed to honour their payment plans. If residents and institutions settle their debts in time, we would not be in this situation," said Gusha.
Finance committee chairperson and Ward 9 councillor Babylon Beta assured workers that they are going to get their salaries saying they are processing salaries grade by grade.
"I am confident that most workers if not all will get their salaries this week because we are processing the funds now," said Beta.news