Grace Nyoni Midlands Reporter
Gweru City Council has stopped issuing summons to its debtors and will soon roll out the prepaid metre programme to recover debts, an official has said. The local authority, which is owed over $50 million by residents and industry, had started sending letters of demand in a bid to recover the money.
Council had given debtors up to the end of last month to come up with payment plans.
Gweru Mayor Councillor Charles Chikozho said council was cognisant of the ratepayers’ plight, but needed them to pay for the services.
He said only 899 households out of the over 40 000 households visited Town House with payment plans.
“We have resolved that rolling out of prepaid metres was the way to go if council is to recover what it is owed by ratepayers,” said Clr Chikozho.
“We advertised that people should come up with payment plans and gave 31 November as the deadline and only 899 households responded.”
Clr Chikozho said even companies could not come up with payment plans within the stipulated period.
He said the council would deduct a certain percentage from what it was owed after the completion of the prepaid metre project.
“The council will deduct a certain percentage from the payment so as to recover debt, the way Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is doing,” said Clr Chikozho. “Prepaid metres are the only solution to the problem after all other avenues have failed.”