BIKITA - Bikita Rural District Council (RDC) is battling to collect US$600 000 it is owed in unpaid levies and has submitted the first batch of defaulters to Mangwana and Partners Legal Practitioners while others have been given up to mid-November to pay up.
Most of the money is owed by government departments which are simply not paying for services including the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa).
Council has proposed a US$3.7 million budget for 2017, a figure which is less than 50 percent of the US$8.2 million for 2016 though council went on to collect only a mere US$1.6 million of that.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Chibi said council was left with no option after exhausting all friendlier ways of recovering the money.
"We know things are hard, the economy is not performing and there is a cash crisis so we opened our doors for negotiations and payment plans but the idea had no takers. People have to honour their obligations because that is what makes the council functional.
"Without money there is no service delivery. We want to be able to provide the best services to the people and that can only be possible if everybody pays.
"We have taken the first batch of heavy defaulters especially government departments and Zinwa to the debt collector but we have given smaller defaulters till mid-November to pay up," Chibi said.news