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Gweru Plans to Convert Residents' Debts to USD

"As of 31 October, Gweru City Council was owed $54 billion and this is adversely affecting service delivery" - Ms Chingwaramusee, Council spokesperson

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Gweru Plans to Convert Residents' Debts to USD

GWERU City Council has given its debtors an ultimatum to pay their dues by December 31 and those that fail to meet the deadline will have their arrears converted to United States dollars.

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The local authority is battling to recover $54 billion it is owed by residents, businesses and Government entities.

In a public notice, Gweru City Council also threatened to take legal action against defaulters.

Clear your bills before 31 December 2023 and failure to comply may result in your bill being converted into USD. Failure to clear your bills will result in litigation,” read the statement.

Gweru City Council spokesperson Ms Vimbai Chingwaramusee said as of October 31, ratepayers owed the local authority $54 billion.

She attributed the ballooning debt to ratepayers who are not paying their monthly bills.

Ms Chingwaramusee said:

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As of 31 October, Gweru City Council was owed $54 billion and this is adversely affecting service delivery.

We need to use that money to meet service delivery expenses such as buying fuel and other such expenses.

She said due to non-payment of bills by ratepayers, the city council is now struggling to pay its service providers and now owes Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) and the Local Authorities Pension Fund (LAPF) a lot of money.

Gweru Plans to Convert Residents' Debts to USD

“We owe the service providers about $10 billion. If we could get the money from residents and other ratepayers, we could easily clear this debt,” said Ms Chingwaramusee.

Gweru Mayor Councillor Martin Chivhoko said it was unfortunate that the council was in this situation because ratepayers were not paying their bills.

He said the council needs money to meet its obligation of providing services to residents and the business community.

Councillor Chivhoko said:

If residents and other ratepayers pay their bills, council will also be able to pay its service providers as well as meet other financial obligations.

The director of the Gweru Residents and Ratepayer Association (GRRP) Mr Cornelius Selipiwe urged defaulting residents to clear their arrears.

Yes, we understand that residents are saying the economy is not performing well but they should strive to pay their bills every month to enable council to operate.

Early this year, council came up with a raft of debt recovery measures including taking legal action against defaulters.

The local authority also suspended the levying of interest on arrears to encourage residents to clear their debts.


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