Munyaradzi Doma in Zvishavane
Zvishavane Town Council has proposed a raft of measures to reduce its debts, which have ballooned to $6,7 million as at August 31, 2017, up from $6 million during the same period last year. Town secretary Mr Tinoda Mukutu said negotiating payment plans and debt swaps would help to significantly reduce debts owed to creditors.
“Our creditors’ list is increasing and we are in talks with some of those we owe so that we can clear the arrears. We are surviving on offsets with some of them, so we want to address that,” he said.
Finance committee chairperson Ms Fatuma Phiri said most of the town’s arrears as at August 31, 2017 were statutory debts.
“Our major creditors are ZESA, NSSA, ZIMRA and Old Mutual. Payment plan arrangements have been made with creditors such as NSSA and a debt swap arrangements with ZIMRA and ZESA,” she said.
The town council owes ZETDC $5,2 million, ZIMRA $592 465 and Old Mutual Pension $106 111, among other creditors. Other strategies the council will employ to liquidate debtors include lobbying for a write-off of statutory debts to compensate for the debt relief offered in 2013.
“We are also making set-off arrangements with ZETDC, TelOne and other creditors and debt swaps with ZIMRA (PAYE) against Government department debtors to the extent that $178 000 was effected. Making weekly payments religiously of between $500 and $2 500 to zimdef, ZINWA, Old Mutual, NSSA and ZIMRA (are) in line with payment plan arrangements.”
She said council was also engaging creditors to avoid any litigations, while it has embarked on minimising costs to channel resources towards settling debts. Ms Phiri said council was also working on improving revenue collection to mobilise financial resources to clear its obligations.