While Finance minister Mthuli Ncube brags about budget surplus, the Masvingo City Council is trying in vain to recover a ballooning debt owed to them by government and parastatals which now stands at $26 408 371 as at June 30, 2019.
The city council says it has tried to make engagements to recover the money from the ministry of Finance but only a paltry $100 000 was paid.
The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) are the biggest debtors who do not pay for the services they get from the council.
City mayor Collen Maboke said the council is struggling to deliver services to residents because of the ballooning debt owed mainly by government and parastatals.
“Our hands are tied and there is no way we can push harder to get the money. We have our Finance minister who talks of budget surplus but they are not paying their debt. We wonder where that surplus is being used.
“Sometimes residents think we are failing but these are the real challenges we are facing. The Urban Councils Act does not allow us to disconnect services from these parastatals so we are in a real fix. They have only paid $100 000 out of the whole debt and it is really a major setback for us,” said Maboke.
The city council is seethed with a number of challenges and can no longer service their debt Local Authorities Pension Fund, Zimra, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Masvingo Municipal Medical Aid Society and ZETDC.
Refuse collection has been inconsistent due to frequent breaking down of vehicles. Council had gone to tender to purchase a truck but the amount required by the winning bidder is now beyond reach due to the escalating inflation