BY MOSES MATENGA
THE cash-strapped Harare City Council said companies that owe the local authority should pay their dues without fail to allow the local authority to provide much-needed service delivery.
Several companies were named as owing the local authority millions of dollars, with the ruling Zanu PF party identified as one of the debtors, owing the authority more than $1,2 million.
Other debtors include the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries, which is yet to pay close to $400 million, the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), Norton Town Council, Chitungwiza Town Council, and National Railways of Zimbabwe.
Council’s human resources committee chairperson Jacob Mafume said there was need to develop a culture of paying debts in the city.
“We need to develop a culture where we pay our rates as a nation. Companies and individuals owe council a lot of money yet they expect services from the same council,” he said.
“We have to foot the bill. We want a liveable city for the next generation and we cannot do that when we are not paying our rates. This is delinquent behaviour and it must stop,” he said.
Among companies that owe the local authority is Zanu PF’s holding company M&S Syndicate (Pvt) Limited, which owes Harare $1 189 768,30 for unpaid water bills at its 15-storey building located in the capital.
Chitungwiza Town Council owes the local authority $414 292 856,77, while Norton Town Council is yet to settle a $4 million debt.
Government entities such as NSSA, NRZ and Telecel are also in the top debtors’ list that also includes Crest Breeders, Irvine’s Day Old Chicks, Simon Muzenda Housing Co-operative, Caps (Pvt) Ltd, among others.
The District Development Fund is also part of the debtors along with the Forestry Commission, Amalgamated Motor Corporation and TN Harlequin Luxaire T/A TN Bank Mall Nelson Mandela.
Harare is owed more than $1 billion by business, government and residents and has been battling to provide services in the city due to the ballooning debt.