Prosper Ndlovu Senior Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council said yesterday that it has fully complied with the Government directive to write off  residents’ debts amounting to more than $46 million.In a statement, the Town Clerk,  Mr Middleton Nyoni, said the local authority would start issuing out bills reflecting the cancellation of bills as from 16 September.

“Bulawayo residents and ratepayers are hereby notified that council has  complied with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban  Development directive to write off domestic/residential balances as at 30 June 2013,” said Mr Nyoni.

“It is envisaged that the October 2013 bills reflecting the write offs will be delivered progressively throughout the city as from 16 September 2013 to mid October 2013.”

Mr Nyoni said the write off covers all recurrent monthly charges for rates, rentals, water, refuse removal, sewer, value added tax (Vat) and interest.

“Bulawayo City Council has reversed about $46,3 million in the following services: rates, related vat on relevant services, rentals, refuse removal, water, sewer and interest.

“The write off covers all recurrent monthly charges for residential properties,” he said.
Mr Nyoni said the council has already billed ratepayers the July to September 2013 charges and the October 2013 bills would reflect the amount due from 1 July 2013.

Mr Nyoni said all domestic customers who had their water disconnected in the past are required to pay their July 2013 and August 2013 charges or levies plus $30,58 reconnection fee.

“All bills should be settled by due date to avoid legal action.
“For the convenience of the customers they can also pay using EcoCash, Biller Code 14969,” he said.

Residents, especially in Bulawayo,  have been complaining that council had not fully complied with the Government directive.
On Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Mr Killian Mupingo urged councils to update residents on the progress regarding the writing off of debts as directed by Government.

The Government directed councils just before the 31 July harmonised elections to write off residents’ debts accumulated between February 2009 and 30 June this year.

The directive was meant to bring relief to millions of Zimbabweans who have been economically disempowered in the last few years due to the effect of illegal sanctions imposed on the country by Western countries.


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