Town councils have approached parastatals with a view that the parastatals should cancel all debts owed by the local authorities. The councils want the parastatals to write-off their debts just like the local authorities wrote off the debts of residents just before the 2013 elections, following a directive from then Minister of Home Affairs, Ignatius Chombo.
This was revealed by Bulawayo Town Clerk, Christopher Dube. Part of the latest finance and development committee report read:
The director of engineering services also highlighted that councilors should recall that $50 million was written off in terms of the 2013 ministerial directive. There was, however, no reciprocal write-off of what local authorities had incurred in the provision of the services whose charges were written off.
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In response, the town clerk (Dube) advised that the town clerks forum was looking into this matter of lobbying for Zesa and other parastatals to write off what local authorities incurred in the provision of services whose charges were written off in 2013.
Bulawayo City Council owes $50 million to Zesa and has resorted to use of diesel-powered generators to ensure the bill does not continue accumulating.