Residents, companies owe Kwekwe city council ZW$2 billion 

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By Staff Reporter 

RESIDENTS and corporates owe Kwekwe city council at least ZW$2 billion in unpaid bills, it has emerged.

Council finance committee chairperson, Silas Mukaro, confirmed the development in an interview.

Mukaro said this was now affecting service delivery.

“We are currently being owed an excess of ZW$2 billion by both residents and corporates. Our revenue is very low, and this is making it very difficult for us to give service to our residents,” Mukaro said.

According to council documents, Redcliff municipality owes ZW$116 million, Lancashire Steel ZW$15 million and Ziscosteel ZW$5 million among other key debtors.

Kwekwe, however, owes power utility ZESA ZW$104 million in electricity bills, ZIMRA ZW$33 million and ZINWA ZW$3 million.

Town clerk, Lucia Mkandla said council owes ZESA because of its water works, which use a lot of power.

To alleviate the problem, council is set to employ the use of solar in some residential areas.

It is also encouraging residents to settle their bills in the more stable US dollar.

“We have not dollarised, the idea is for council to get US dollars. We are currently engaging to see us collecting US dollars as a local authority. There is an advantage of a 40 to 50% bonus for the residents,” city finance committee chairperson, Silas Mukaro said.

“We are not declining the local currency, if one comes to settle their bills in RTGS we are still collecting.

“The reason why we have decided to take the initiative is because instead of paying US dollars to council, residents have been taking that money to the black market. We even had illegal money changers camped at our offices collecting US dollars.

“The introduction of the US dollar promotion is a way of encouraging residents to pay their bills in US dollar. The proposal is also in response to the obtaining economic situation.”