Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba is seeking a meeting with the new Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) board and Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube over the $171 million which council owes the tax collector.
The City of Harare initially owed ZIMRA $20 million before the debt increased to $171 million due to non-payment. Gomba said they hoped Zimra would offer them relief by removing penalties that have accrued over the years. Said Gomba:
We are making efforts to meet with the Zimra board and the Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube through our parent ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. We think it is an opportunity for Zimra to save local authorities that are choking in debt from collapse by removing the penalty and leaving us with our legacy debts. We are highly indebted and we really need to get out of the hole. We have implemented some cost containment measures that we hope will assist us to mitigate the effects of the challenges we are facing.
Speaking at a full council meeting held last week Harare’s acting finance director Stan Ndemera said they had written to ZIMRA saying they are unable to pay their proposed $4,2 million per month to service the debt.