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    Saturday, 1 October 2016

    Gov directive to scrap debts; Gwanda faces $9m Zinwa debt



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    GWANDA -
    The 2013 directive by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for all local authorities to scrap debts for residents has left Gwanda Municipality bleeding three years later as it owes Zimbabwe national Water Authority (Zinwa) over $9 million.
    The then Minister of Local Government Ignatious Chombo ordered all municipalities and towns to write off residents' debts ahead of the 2013 harmonised elections.
    The concerns against the directive were raised at a budget consultative meeting that was held in the mining town last week.
    Gwanda municipality has a $6, 4 million budget for 2016 but its debts are more than $12 million with the bulk of it, $9 473 157 being owed to Zinwa.
    The town Treasurer Xolani Dube said the Municipality is crippled by the debt.
    "In June 2013 there was a directive by  Government to write off all debtors. After we had cleared our debtors we then asked Zinwa to comply with the Government directive and it only cancelled 40% of our debt," he said.
    Dube said that Zinwa was using estimated figures as these were not the actual meter prices for the kilolitres that the municipality used.
    "We as the council feel that this is an estimated figure and we will have to sit down and rectify the problem," he added.
     "I think we are sitting here debating on the wrong information. We cannot have a situation where our debts are more than the annual budget. It basically means that the last budget did not intend to cater for the development of the Gwanda community but to clear its debt," said one of the participants who declined to be identified.
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