Masvingo City Council is owed US$15,5 million by Government, businesses and residents in unpaid rates and tariffs, a situation that has crippled service delivery. Mayor Alderman Femius Chakabuda on Friday said Government was the largest debtor with US$8,5 million.
He said several projects had stalled because of cash-flow problems. "As a result of the unpaid bills, our capacity on service delivery is limited," he said.
"We have planned a lot of projects in the past year but the projects cannot continue because of the financial woes."
Mayor Chakabuda said the city's sewer and water reticulation systems needed to be upgraded as they were being overwhelmed by the growing population in the city.
"The population is growing on a daily basis and the system that we have cannot cope with the increase," he said.
"To make matters worse, the equipment is old and needs to be replaced but there is no money to carry out those exercises." He said the city was supplying 30 megalitres of water per day to residents against a demand of 60 megalitres. "This is not enough to cover all areas and institutions," he said.
"It is our hope that the situation will improve to avoid the outbreak of diseases such as typhoid and cholera."