…disconnects 10 institutions
…army, police challenge bills
The Masvingo City Council has taken an offensive against government institutions who owe the local authority millions in unpaid bills and have disconnected water at 10 government institutions among them the provincial education offices, the ministry of lands offices, ministry of labour offices, provincial registrar offices among others while the security sector is disputing their current bills.
The central government and parastatals owe the city council in excess of $27 million in unpaid debts as at October 2019.
Council has made valiant efforts to try and recover the bills but to no avail prompting the city fathers to disconnect the defaulting institutions.
Acting Town Clerk Edward Mukaratirwa told TellZim News that they had tried to get the money but the institutions were not forthcoming hence the move to disconnect them.
“We have opened our doors to payment plans but most of these institutions have not been forthcoming. The council is struggling to provide services because it has no money and the people who are supposed to be paying are reluctant.
“We have disconnected 10 government institutions and we are calling on them to come and make payment plans which they will have to honour. We are not a shrewd council but sometimes we are left with no choice.
“We know water is a right but we need money in order to guarantee that right to our people,” said Mukaratirwa.
The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) who constitute nearly 50 percent of the debtors’ ledger are said to be contesting their bills saying they are way too high.
Mukaratirwa said the council could not disconnect the security forces because they are disputing their bills and negotiations are taking place.
“The security forces are the biggest debtors but right now they are saying the bills we have given them are too high and are challenging them.
“We are discussing with them and their bills at the moment are contested,” said Mukaratirwa.
The central government has, early this year, only paid $800 000 towards clearing their debt which is in excess of $20 million.