Heather Charema Correspondent
Chegutu Municipality has called for the resuscitation of former textile giant David Whitehead and operationalisation of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) to help boost its revenue base.
Challenges plaguing the two firms have negatively affected the local authority as workers who have been laid off are finding it increasingly difficult to pay their bills. Currently, ratepayers owe more than $16,8 million with David Whitehead and ZMDC accounting for a significant chunk. Chegutu Town Council finance director Mr Tongai Mandude said the revival of the two firms will help improve revenue inflows.
“When these two companies are facing challenges like what is happening now, they struggle to pay for council services and it also affects their employees, who fail to pay for services and clearing debts,” said Mr Mandude.
“Chegutu has a suburb named after ZMDC and the residents in this suburb are mostly former employees, which is most likely a group of people who cannot afford to pay rates.”
Council reviewed their rates in a bid to lessen the burden on residents and ratepayers, but the situation has not changed. As a result, council has not been able to meet service delivery and capital development priorities in its budgets. Council is now pinning its hopes on the economic development policies being pursued by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to stimulate growth in industry.
“The economic restoration which our President Cde ED Mnangagwa is spearheading is hope for our municipality because we look forward to the resuscitation of a number of companies in Chegutu.
“This will mean creation of employment, which the increase in their employees will also see an increase in the numbers of our ratepayers as well,” said Mr Mandude.