Bulawayo councilors have proposed a 50 percent discount for residents who are willing to settle their accounts in foreign currency.
The incident comes two weeks after local authorities announced that they were issuing utility bills in foreign currency after residents paid the bid price on the day of payment.
He said the council, which owes $ 5 billion, would play a key role in improving service delivery, adding that it would be better to get half of the foreign exchange and write the rest.
The domestic authority has announced that it has decided to introduce foreign exchange bills to curb inflation from June 1.
Although the House leaders initially supported the move after an emergency decision by the House of Representatives, their efforts to back off last Monday led to an informal Caucus call between members of the House and the leadership. Management.
Impeccable council sources told Sunday News that the informal Caucasus should have been called after some council members questioned how the leadership could make the decision without consulting it.
This came after the Bulaao Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) and the council refused to meet with the council’s management, after the management asked for a “consensus” on the issue.
“Monday’s session was an informal meeting of the council to discuss a number of issues related to the new provisions.
When we met with stakeholders and expressed our financial problems, we wanted to create a consensus on some misleading statements by other policymakers.
That is why there was no news and no media to discuss, it was all informal discussion, ”the source said.
Acting Mayor Melanu Nkubu, who we spoke to for comment, confirmed the meeting and agreed that the administration would provide incentives for residents who want to pay their bills in foreign currency.
“Yes, that meeting was held to get the policy makers and the leadership involved to emphasize that we are not saying that the council members should go to the resident and inform them of the place and that they are paying in foreign currency, mainly in foreign currency.
“We have also agreed to pay the discount in foreign currency. We are still working on a 50 per cent discount, but this should be provided regularly by the management.”
Basically, we’re going to get the $ 2.5 billion we owe $ 5 billion in foreign exchange and write the rest.
He said the city will have a significant contribution to increase service delivery.
According to Chloe Nkubu, the main purpose was to raise as much money as possible so that the local authority could provide the necessary services.
The chairman of the Finance and Development Committee, Chlor Tawanda Roosev, said the council was struggling to raise the necessary foreign exchange to run some of its services.
He also said that the council needs to come up with some incentives to collect foreign exchange earnings.
The fact is that when residents pay in local currency, they take the money and go to the treasury to get foreign currency, which means that when we get it, we lose the money. Prices are high, which therefore hinders service delivery.
“In this case, we know that the service will be effective, so it would be better if we get half of the debt,” he said.
What residents also need to realize is that there has been a $ 400 reduction in the budget process, which shows us that we need to take steps to ensure that we remain at a level where we can provide service, ”said Claire Roosevelt.
According to the latest council report, the local government owes $ 5 billion, including $ 3 billion for residents, $ 1.5 billion for industry, $ 239,000 for the government, and $ 189,000 for the parastatals and self-finance ministries.
“Borrowers have increased by 13 per cent and lenders by 18 per cent.
The council is narrowing the gap between lenders and borrowers, making it impossible for lenders to pay.
The management has taken over by setting up a debt management department, which will improve collections, ”the report read.
However, the council members said the proposal violated the rules of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
“If a natural or legal person sells, displays or sells goods or services in excess of the buyer’s exchange rate, he or she will be liable for civil offenses (the main purpose of which is to encourage foreign currency payments. Currency) .