Zimbabwe: Businesses Owe Council Over $2,4m

13 February 2019

Cash-strapped Chitungwiza Municipality is battling to recover over $2,4 million that it is owed by business people occupying its properties, an official has said.

Chitungwiza Town Clerk Dr George Makunde told The Herald that the failure by the businesses to pay rentals to council crippled its efforts to offer adequate service delivery.

"It is important to note that as council we are owed over $2,4 million by people occupying our properties such as corner shops, beerhalls, garages and crèches," he said.

"Most businesses have been failing to pay us during the past five years."

Dr Makunde said the on-going cleaning exercise of demolishing illegal structures had been extended to restore order at the council-owned infrastructure.

Those failing to pay will be evicted.

"We are also targeting those operating council corner shops, beerhalls, garages and crèches, among other informal traders," he said.

"We are going to be checking on payment of rentals and authorised use. It is time we start benefiting from our own structures."

Council has called upon those who intend to operate flea markets, open hardwares, mobile money agents, retail gas operators, garages, car parks, driving schools and other small and medium activities to register at their district offices.

"If one has previously been engaging in the same business or occupying the same premise or open space, he or she must agree to pay all the outstanding rental arrears with effect from October 2017 to date as determined by council," said Dr Makunde.

The exercise was expected to increase the council's revenue collection that is below 40 percent.

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