Harare owed $300 million

HARARE - Harare City Council is owed $300 million in bills by ratepayers, the authority has revealed.

Management accountant Stanley Ndemera told resident representatives yesterday that the authority was failing to implement some of its proposed projects because of resources held in debt.

“Council is at the moment owed $300 million in unpaid bills which is quite a lot. This has negatively impacted on our revenue budget for 2012 as we only managed to collect $64 million from the projected $160 million,” said Ndemera during a budget pre-consultative meeting.

In August, according to media reports, the debt bill stood at $200 million.

Ndemera said, though having challenges with revenue collection from ratepayers, the authority would not resort to legal avenues to enforce compliance among defaulters.

“We could involve the courts and disconnections to collect the $300 million owed us but we prefer persuasion strategies,” he said responding to question on the authority’s plan on encouraging consumers to pay.

Meanwhile, city council and residents representative organisations agreed to cooperate to improve service delivery.

Harare deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto said “Wars of words do not build a nation. A recent foreign tour we had proved to us how important it is for council to work closely with resident representatives and this day marks the beginning of constant interaction between us.”

Harare residents were called by both parties to input into the council budget which is set to begin on the eighth of this month.

Combined Residents Trust, Harare Residents Trust, Harare Residents Alliance and Zimbabwe Harare Residents Development Trust are some of the organisations that met council.

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