Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
Chitungwiza Municipality has launched a promotion where it is offering a 50 percent discount to ratepayers who settle their debts in full, an official has said.
The local authority’s finance director Mrs Evangelista Machona said the promotion, which begins today, was going to run for a month and was only applicable to residents.
“We are running a promotion of 50 percent discount for residential ratepayers only which begins tomorrow (today) until March 15,” she said.
Mrs Machona urged the residents to take advantage of the window period to settle their bills.
“We urge our ratepayers to avoid a last minute rush by taking advantage of the offer ahead of the deadline,” she said.
The development comes after a full council meeting last week passed a resolution to run the promotion.
As at December 2018, council was being owed $70,2 million, with commercial clients accounting for $27,4 million and residents $42,8 million.
The passing of the resolution came on the back of objections from some councillors and Mrs Machona.
Finance Committee chairperson Clr Peter Matiringe had presented a recommendation that council offers a 30 percent discount to all ratepayers.
The recommendation was revised to 50 percent for residents only, with the meeting recommending that businesses and other institutions should apply for a discount on an individual basis.
Clr Kevin Mutimbanyoka said the promotion would negatively affect ratepayers that were paid up.
“If we are to revise the discount from 30 to 50 percent, it would be a disadvantage to the residents who responded to the 30 percent promotion at the end of last year and cleared their balances,” he said.
“Are we really encouraging our regular ratepayers to continue paying?”
The 30 percent discount ran from September to December last year.
Mrs Machona advised the councillors that it was not prudent to run the promotion since the creditors’ figure was more than the debtors figure and that council was likely to realise very little from the promotion.
“It is not wise for us to run a promotion right now because of our economic situation and currently our creditors figure is at $74 million and our debtors figure is at $72 million, meaning that we are not able to cushion ourselves,” she said.