Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
GWERU City Council will soon start charging service charges using the prevailing bank rate to enable it to provide efficient service, Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe said.
In an interview, Clr Makombe said council is charging water around 80c per kilolitre- an amount he said was even less than a 500ml bottle of water which costs around $1.50.
He said it was inevitable that rates and water, refuse, sewage charges which are known service charges will soon be charged using the prevailing bank rate.
“We are saying for us to remain afloat, for us to continue providing service delivery to our residents, there is urgent need for the local authority to start charging service charges and rates using the prevailing bank rate. Right now for example, we are charging around 80c per kilolitre, an amount that is far less than a 500ml bottle of water that is being sold for about $1.50.
‘‘We can not stop the inevitable,” said Clr Makombe.
He said they were going to roll out consultative meetings with stakeholders such as the residents and companies to find a common ground so that council is able to provide service delivery.
“We buy water treatment chemicals, the water pipes and we pay for electricity and you find that suppliers use the prevailing bank rate and that is why we as council need to start charging using the prevailing bank rate. Otherwise we will fail to deliver service,” said Clr Makombe.
Meanwhile, Clr Makombe said the rehabilitation of roads in Mkoba 12 and Mkoba 17 had been suspended.
He said council received RTGS$$3,8 million from the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) which the contractor has said has been eroded by inflation.
“The money we received from Zinara has been eroded. The variance has taken us from RTGS$3,8 to RTGS$9 million and we are looking at how we can raise that and in the mean time roads rehabilitation in Mkoba 12 and 17 has since been stopped after the contractor moved from the site,” said Clr Makombe.