GWERU – Gweru City Council is on the edge financially and its debt with Zimbabwe Electricity and Distribution Company (ZETDC) now stands at $23,1 million.
The new Gweru Mayor, Charles Chikozho told The Mirror in an exclusive interview that the situation was so bad that a payment arrangement between ZETDC and the local authority had to be agreed upon at the High Court.
As a result of the High Court arrangement, the council is paying $60 000 every month to defray its debt and this is in addition to the $280 000 monthly electricity bill.
He added that the total City Council debt stood at $42 215 735.26 and blamed the precarious situation on the dwindling revenue inflows.
"Our financial situation is not healthy. Inflows are dwindling, the wage bill is huge and costs associated with service delivery are very high," said Chikozho.
He however, said council is owed $52 219 411 and the debtors arrears are as follows; industrial and commercial consumers $18 290 620. Government departments $4 427 679 and residents owe $29 501 105.
Chikozho said council was doing everything it can to push debtors to come up with payment plans so that they can clear their credits.
"We are doing all we can to push debtors to come up with payment plans to clear credits. We have handed some of the debtors to debt collectors but really that's the last resort," said Chikozho.