Council retires $56k bill with food

GWERU - The Gweru City Council has offset a local hotel’s $56 000 water and rates bill with food for councillors, the Daily News has learnt.

Already, councillors have amassed a $40 000 bill at Fairmile Hotel, with the remaining $16 000 to be paid in $5 000 weekly instalments.

Enraged council workers, who have gone for months without pay, on Friday disconnected water supplies at the hotel, but management hastened to reconnect the water supply citing their “special relationship” with the hotel.

Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi condemned the workers’ behaviour, saying they were not authorised to disconnect water supplies.

Council is also reportedly cancelling Bata Shoe Company’s debt on condition that the company provides protective clothing for its workforce.

“Councillors are busy eating food at Fairmile after their meetings so that is why the council is not paying salaries,” council workers’ committee spokesperson Cornelius Selipiwe told the Daily News.

“Who in the world eats food to the tune of $40 000?

“They are quick to deliver residents to debt collectors when companies are defaulting, it’s not fair.”

Gweru is owed millions of dollars by industry and commerce, a situation that has crippled the once thriving local authority.

Tapiwa Marerwa, the deputy town clerk, professed ignorance on such a development.

“I am not sure of what happened,” he said. “I have been out of town.”

Meanwhile, council employees have unfurled a strike in protest at their outstanding salaries, as management remained mum on payment.

Workers locked the council chambers, while opening the revenue hall as mayhem reigned at the local authority.

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