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