Billy Rautenbach, a business tycoon who has close links with the ruling ZANU PF is reported to be paying only RTGS$0.10 as unit tax per hectare to the Mwenezi Rural District Council. He runs a 229 000 hectare multi-million dollar wildlife sanctuary at the sprawling Nuanetsi Ranch in the Lowveld.
New Zimbabwe reports that the council charged Rautenbach unit tax at $1 per hectare and his company, Zimbabwe Bio-Energy (ZBE) has ignored its tax obligations since 2009.
The Council’s chief executive officer, Albert Chivanga revealed that the local authority has since sought President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s help to recover some $1.9 million owed by Rautenbach. Chivanga said:
ZBE should pay Mwenezi RDC $229 000 per year but they have only been paying a paltry $22 900 which they have pegged without the RDC’s approval,
We have since notified Masvingo Resident Minister, (Ezra Chadzamira) to see if he could assist in notifying the President over this impasse and maybe he would be able to intervene and help us as council recover what is owed to us.
Statistics suggest that Nuanetsi Ranch has over 40 000 cattle, 150 000 crocodiles among other animals.
The safari operated by Rautenbach is reported to consist of all types of wild animals where tourists from across the world come to see as well as hunt and pay a premium for.
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