The Municipality of Marondera is being owed a whopping $28m by residents who are currently struggling to pay rates given the current harsh economic conditions.
The non-payment of rates has also paralysed the local authority that is currently struggling with service delivery issues and workers’ salaries among other things.
Marondera Mayor Chengetai Murowa yesterday revealed that residents have not been paying their rates owing in excess of $28m and that there is a need to come up with a strategy to encourage ratepayers to honour their obligations.
“Council is owed close to $28m by residents. We have to engage residents because this is affecting service delivery.
“The local authority needs the money for effective service delivery. The economic hardship is severe and many residents are struggling to make ends meet.
“Moreover, unemployment is rife with close to 90% of residents surviving through other means.
“However, we encourage residents to pay their rates so that we keep afloat in as far as development and service delivery is concerned,” he said.
In recent years, council has been offering 50% discount to debtors in December a move that saw residents clearing their arrears with council improving its revenue collection base.
However, this year, council did not come up with that offer despite anticipation by residents.