'Harare owes service providers $100m'

HARARE - Harare City Council currently owes various service providers $100 million, an official revealed yesterday.

City Treasure Misheck Mubvumbi said the council was failing to clear the debt because its money was also held by consumers of its services who are not paying bills.

“We can only clear (the debt) once government and industry pay what they owe council,” said Mubvumbi during a pre-budget consultative meeting with industry stakeholders in Harare.

The local authority is itself owed over $300 million by government, industry and residents who cite economic challenges as the impediment to paying rates.

According to Mubvumbi, government alone currently owes council $40 million and has since 2009 paid only $9 million in rates.

The city treasurer questioned Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) licence revenue collections, saying the agency had failed.

“If we collected $7,5 million in 2009, $6 million in 2010 how then can Zinara explain $2,6 in 2011 and this year’s $1,2 million against a background where vehicle numbers have gone up?” queried Mubvumbi.

The authority’s projected revenue from licences stood at around $15 million, Mubvumbi said.

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