Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Government has written off $135 million owed to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) by Harare City Council as part of measures to capacitate the local authority to deal with the current water crisis, an official has said.
The debt comprised penalties and interest that council had accrued.
The write-off comes after Treasury last week released $37, 4 million, including foreign currency, towards interventions to improve water access and waste water treatment in the capital.
Government this week also took over Morton Jaffray Waterworks to ensure residents access to potable water after Acting President Kembo Mohadi facilitated the clearance of water treatment chemicals at the border while the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) and District Development Fund (DDF) chipped in with technical assistance.
In a statement, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development said: “Treasury appreciates the important role played by City of Harare in the provision of clean and safe water, sewage reticulation and refuse collection which significantly impact in averting the outbreak of diseases such as cholera and typhoid. In this regard, Treasury, in line with the provisions of Public Finance Management Act, approved to write off penalties and interest owed by City of Harare,” the Treasury said.
“The principal tax liability remains due and payable in line with a payment plan agreed upon with Zimra.”
The $135 million of penalties had accumulated over years from a $30 million debt, leaving the city council owing the Government $170 million.