Govt not go­ing to or­der coun­cils to can­cel res­i­dents’ debts: ‘Tyson’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pa­trick Chi­tumba Mid­lands Bureau Chief

THERE is no go­ing back to the year 2013 when the Govern­ment or­dered lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to can­cel res­i­dents’ debts that were out­stand­ing from Fe­bru­ary 2009, a Cabi­net Min­is­ter has said.

Speak­ing on the Zim­pa­pers owned Star Fm ra­dio sta­tion on Tues­day evening, Lo­cal Govern­ment, Public Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter, Cde Saviour Ka­sukuwere, said res­i­dents should set­tle their debts since there was not go­ing to be an­other re­prieve.

In 2013 the Govern­ment or­dered coun­cils to write off debts owed by in­di­vid­ual ratepay­ers from Fe­bru­ary 2009 — when the coun­try’s econ­omy was for­mally dol­larised — to June 30, 2013.

“There is go­ing to be no re­prieve (on coun­cil debts). We are not go­ing back to 2013 and the res­i­dents should be en­cour­aged to pay their bills,” he said.

The min­is­ter said the non-pay­ment of bills was a big chal­lenge to lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

He said in­stead of run­ning away, res­i­dents should en­gage their lo­cal au­thor­i­ties for pay­ment plans adding that coun­cils had an obli­ga­tion to pro­vide ser­vice de­liv­ery us­ing rev­enue gen­er­ated from rates and water ser­vices. “We must en­sure that we all pay for the ser­vices de­liv­ered by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and go­ing into the fu­ture we must all ac­cept that we pay for ser­vice de­liv­ery,” he said.

“We con­tinue to en­cour­age ci­ti­zens to pay their bills and where they have chal­lenges they should ap­proach their lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and en­gage in de­cent dis­cus­sion. The worst thing to do is to run away and you have not ex­plained your chal­lenges to the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.”

He said the Govern­ment was pained when homes were de­stroyed by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, adding the State would con­tinue reg­u­lar­is­ing hous­ing co­op­er­a­tives to pro­tect ci­ti­zens from bo­gus land de­vel­op­ers.

Cde Ka­sukuwere urged Zim­bab­weans to be ex­tra care­ful and deal with reg­is­tered land de­vel­op­ers so that they are not duped of their hard earned money.

Turn­ing to re­ports on so­cial me­dia that he con­structed a 50-bed­roomed house in Harare, the min­is­ter said while he was a busi­ness­man of re­pute, he could not have con­structed the house in ques­tion.

He said the house cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia wasn’t his.

“The house they are say­ing has 50 bed­rooms, se­ri­ously, who in his nor­mal senses would build a house with 50 bed­rooms. I want to in­vite you to my house to count the bed­rooms. When you come back, I want you to an­nounce it your­self,” said Cde Ka­sukuwere.

“You are now us­ing what Temba Mliswa was say­ing as a mat­ter of fact. You can­not say to me min­is­ter, Temba says you have a house with 50 bed­rooms and an ed­u­cated per­son like your­self be­lieves that. I’m invit­ing you Linda (Star FM pre­sen­ter), when you have time please come for a cup of tea. I have a house just like any other Zim­bab­wean I own a house. Is it a crime to own a house?” — @pchi­tumba1

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