By Tonderai Saharo
THE financially-strapped Masvingo City Council has resolved to unleash debt collectors to try and recover over $10 million it is owed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in unpaid water bills.
The local authority’s finance committee noted recently the ZRP had not been forthcoming in paying their water bills for several years despite having many premises dotted in parts of the city. These include police officers’ residential premises which continue receiving water supplies.
The committee said numerous efforts to engage the police to agree on a payment plan had yielded no results.
“On institutional debtors it was reported that the Zimbabwe Republic Police had not been forthcoming in paying their water bills and debts amounting to $10 709 881,22 as at October 31, 2020 despite various engagements,” the finance committee noted.
“The finance director was instructed to formally advise the ZRP to settle their debts within 14 days, failure of which the council would hand them over to debt collectors,” read the minutes.
The 14-day ultimatum lapses on December 7, 2020.
The Masvingo City Council is owed in excess of $130 million by government departments, companies and residents.
The ZRP, Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) top the list.
Officials at the town house attribute poor state of service delivery in Masvingo to non-payment of rates by ratepayers.