Zimra raids Gweru council accounts

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has reportedly pounced on Gweru City Council bank accounts in a bid to garnish hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid tax, sources revealed to the Southern Eye.

By Stephen Chadenga

Information at hand shows that by end of business yesterday, the local authority had entered into an arrangement with the tax collector on settling the outstanding taxes.

“Zimra wanted to garnish the tax bill from our bank accounts but management made a last-minute rush to avoid this,” a source said.

Ironically, government departments owe council over $4 million for services rendered.

Council spokesperson Manford Gambiza and mayor Charles Chikozho, however, gave contradictory statements, with the former professing ignorance over the matter, saying the local authority had already made a payment plan with Zimra.

“It’s news to us because nothing like that ever happended,” Gambiza said.

“We have a payment plan with Zimra for outstanding dues which we are already servicing on a monthly basis.”

Chikozho, however, said he did not have finer details (of the attempted garnishment) since he was out of office, but that council officials had informed him that they had reached an agreement with Zimra.

“I am advised that it (issues) has been resolved,” Chikozho said.

Over the years, the cash-strapped local authority’s financial books have been in the red with council collecting around $1,2 million every month in revenue, but spending about $1,3 million on salaries, with no resources left for service delivery.

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