By Staff Reporter
ZIBAGWE Rural District Council is struggling to recover at least $217 million it is by defaulting residents.
Speaking at a recently held full council meeting, Zibagwe Rural District Council chief executive officer (CEO) Farai Machaya said the defaulters are posing a headache to the local authority.
“Our debtors and creditors as at 31 March 2022 are at ZW$216 942 100.72 and ZW$53,23 million respectively. Our debtors continue to increase each month owing to non-compliance by most of our debtors. However, engagement with out debtors is a routine exercise that we are doing in order to stimulate revenue collection. Most of our debtors are over 120 days in arrears and our creditors are paid on a monthly basis, that is 30 days,” he said.
“The widened gap is affecting our ability to settle our obligations as they fall due and is causing council to incur higher financing costs in the form of interests and penalties due to late payments,” he said, adding: “The revenue collected for the year 2021 amounts to $71, 145, 320.20 against revenue budget of $188 million. This is equivalent to 38% budget perfomance. Although revenue increased yearly from 2020 to 2021, it remains very low relative to yearly budget projections.”
Machaya said Zibagwe’s tariff changes remained unchanged, “…during these financial periods, thus the increase in revenue was a result in the movement in the exchange rate against the United States Dollar.”
The council has also continued to underperform during the first quarter of the year.
“The total revenue realised for the first quarter of 2022 is $30, 403, 862.64 against a quarterly budget of $113, 572,253.30, which translates to 27% budget performance. In 2021, our first quarter budget performance was 30%,” he said.