Blessings Chidakwa Herald Correspondent
Mazowe Rural District Council is struggling to recover $4,5 million that it is owed by residents and the business community, which is affecting service delivery.
The local authority urged Government to reintroduce Land Levy that was scrapped in 2009, which was once its major source of revenue. In an interview yesterday, Mazowe community development officer Mr Joshua Mapedza Nyashanu said the local authority was being owed $4,5 million and was owing creditors $1,7 million.
“Most of our land is commercial and out of the 35 wards, we have only 12, which are rural, implying there is greater need for service delivery in the urban areas. The failure by our debtors to pay up is compromising service delivery. Corporates, including Mazowe, owe council over quarter a million, a situation, which is not viable for our operations,” he said.
Mr Nyashanu said Government should pay councils their percentage of land levies on time to boost their revenue.
“Councils are supposed to receive a certain percentage from the Ministry of Lands, but as of this year, no cent has been remitted so far. We were one of the major beneficiaries of the land levy before Government started collecting the money in 2009. We would collect more than half a million from the Land Levy annually, which was one of our major sources of revenue,” he said.
Mr Nyashanu urged debtors to approach council and make payment plans to be able to take advantage of discounts on offer.
“All those who owe council should come and make payment plans as well as negotiate with us on the way forward. We will negotiate for discounts for those who are willing to settle their debts. Legal action is the last road which we will pursue, as of now people should make payment plans.”