Byo council owed $19b

Loughty Dube

GOVERNMENT departments and city residents now owe the cash-strapped Bulawayo city council over $19 billion in unpaid rates and supplementary charges.



, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Documents obtained this week show that government and local residents owe a combined total of $19,5 billion as at the end of April.


The new figures, submitted by city treasurer Middleton Nyoni, indicate that the amount owed to council has increased by $6 billion from that owed in March.


Government departments owe council a total of $5 billion while residents and other service debtors owe council $14,5 billion.


The Ministry of Home Affairs is the biggest debtor, owing council over $555 million, closely followed by the Ministry of Health which owes $454 million and the Ministry of Education and Culture that owes a further $317 million.


The government debt excludes the contentious health grant that the fiscus is supposed to pay council on a monthly basis.


Rates and supplementary charges top the list of what residents owe council with more than $6 billion outstanding followed by water usage at $5 billion while a further $1 billion is for sewerage charges.


Other debts are spread across land sales, refuse removal, rent, loan repayments, legal charges and developments permits.


Bulawayo councillors in a report compiled after the presentation of the council’s financial position and the debt situation expressed concern at the deteriorating debt situation and called for stern measures to arrest the situation.

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