THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has garnished City of Harare bank accounts over unpaid taxes, in a move the local authority claims has derailed service delivery in the capital.
The local authority currently owes the tax collector ZW$115 million (US$1,42 million) in outstanding taxes.
City of Harare confirmed the development in a statement yesterday, saying Zimra’s move had virtually crippled operations at Town House, as the local authority claims it is now unable to provide essential services like water reticulation and refuse collection.
The beleaguered local authority also claimed it was failing to pay salaries and for services such as fuel, electricity and water treatment chemicals because of the garnish.
“City of Harare wishes to advise residents and ratepayers that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) last week garnished our bank accounts demanding full payment of ZW$115 million in outstanding taxes,” the statement reads.
“The garnishee order is adversely affecting the council’s daily operations, as the city cannot honour payments to service providers, including fuel and water treatment chemical suppliers. This has seen the city failing to collect refuse in time resulting in garbage piling up across the city. The city is resultantly failing to pay its workers,” the statement further reads.
“Management is currently engaging the revenue collector to seek relief so that available resources can be ploughed into service delivery. Revenue inflows have been greatly affected by the effects of Covid-19.”
The local authority has been under fire from residents and other stakeholders for poor service delivery over the past few years, as corruption and incompetence have taken their toll.
The situation was worsened by the recalling of a number of councillors and the arrest of mayor Jacob Mafume, his deputy Luxon Mukunguma and town clerk Hosiah Chisango, among other senior council executives, on allegations of corruption.
There are also indications that the government, through the Ministry of Local Government, could be planning to replace the depleted council with a special commission to run the city’s affairs.