GWERU ratepayers’ debt to the City of Gweru has doubled to a whooping $186 million, a trend showing a sharp increase in unpaid and accumulating unpaid debts to council which were at 72 million during the same period last year.
Presenting his state of the city address, City of Gweru Mayor Cllr Josiah Makombe said the ballooning debt has resulted in council facing financial and operational challenges.
‘‘The city continues to experience financial woes due to reluctance by residents to honour their bills and our monthly collections continue to lag behind. I humbly plead with stakeholders and clients to honour their bills to ensure quality service provision.
“The debtors as at 31 August stood at $186 671,377 and the low revenue collection levels has got a knock effect on,” he said.
On the other hand, council owes Zimbabwe Electricity Transmition and Distribution Company $61 million from energy consumed at the water treatment plant.
Council reviewed tariffs in July marking a 75% increment and due to inflationary changes, council says change in tariffs are no longer sustainable.
An investigation carried out by CommuTalk last year however gathered that government institutions and cooperates were the City’s biggest debtors as at September 30 2019.
Among the institutions were Thornhill Airbase, ZETDC, Kuplec Coaches, Zim Glass, Ministry Of Environment, Water and Climate, Liquid Telcom, ZRP Mkoba, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Zim Alloysand Thornhill High School owing $5.5 million, $2.7 million, $1.2 million, $700k, $666k, $430k, $427k, $422k, $382k, $350k and $280k respectively.