Chitungwiza in bid to recover $74m

Yeukai Karengezeka Municipal Correspondent
CASH-STRAPPED Chitungwiza Municipality, which is owed $74,4 million by residents and business entities, is issuing final letters of demand in a bid to recover its money from ratepayers.

The financial status of the local authority is in a precarious position, with its creditors’ figure standing at $74,4 million as at June 30.

According to recent finance committee minutes, the commercial and industrial debtors amounted to $30,2 million, while residential debtors stood at $44,1million, bringing the total to $74,4 million.

The debtors’ figure increased by $579 000 as compared to the previous period.

The report revealed that council was in the process of issuing summons to defaulters and some of the ratepayers were making payment plans.

“Council is now using the credit control and legal section to follow up on defaulters,” read the minutes. “Debtors served with demand letters are approaching council offices with reasonable payment plans and we have witnessed an increase in the signed payment plans for the month of June comparing to the previous month.”

Finance director Mrs Evangelista Machona reported that as at June 30, 1 300 debtors signed payment plans worth $185 628.

“Credit control section embarked on issuing summons to defaulters from February 2019,” reads the minutes. “The summons are being issued in batches and to date we have served 200 valued at $1,2 million.

“The section has also issued final demand letters to 9 714 residential debtors and the response is encouraging with a reasonable number approaching council for payment plans.”

The local authority also made payments to third parties and other creditors during the period under review of $351 200.

Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund was paid $23 200, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority $60 000, NSSA $105 000, City of Harare $105 000, Unified Pension and Local Authorities Pension Fund $29 000 each.

Mrs Machona also reported that external auditors completed their 2017 financial statements audit field work on May 31, 2019 and were waiting for audit management reports.

She indicated that council was going to submit the 2018 financial statements after receiving the 2017 audit report.

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