By Own Correspondent
MARONDERA- The Municipality of Marondera has set its sights on engaging the services of debt collectors in a bid to recover the ZL$28 million it is owed by residents, businesses, private and public entities.
In an interview, Town Clerk Josiah Musuwo said the local authority can only be in a position to provide efficient services to residents and other ratepayers if they pay for the services.
The Mayor has urged them to come forward with payment plans to clear up ammounts overdue arising from existing charges.
“We always engage the residents and ratepayers and encourage them to honour their bills as this in turn helps us to consistently and efficiently provide them with services such as road maintenance, clean water, street lighting and refuse collection among others.
“At 20 percent, our debt recovery rate is way below the expected level as we have problematic areas that require special attention.
“We have people who are not willing to pay their bills and influencing others to do the same for reasons best known to them and that negatively affects our operations as council. It has to be known that people have to pay for a service first and that is a fact.
“This year, we will be engaging the services of debt collectors to help us recoup the millions of dollars that we are owed so that apart from providing efficient service delivery, we can be in a position to meet our other financial obligations,” said Musuwo.
The Town Clerk further stated that while council will be focussing on aggressive revenue collection, it will also consider the plight of residents and ratepayers in the face of the current economic challenges the country is facing.
In November 2018, the local authority offered a 50 percent discount promotion to ratepayers who would clear their rates and service bills. The promotion ran between October 15 and November 30 but did not apply to leases, business licences and land sales.
Musuwo said while the 50 percent discount promotion also meant a 50 percent cut-off on the council 2018 budget, it had nevertheless helped mark an improvement in revenue inflows.