Zibagwe RDC urges companies to recover more than $300 million in debt


The Chronicle

Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent

ZIBAGWE Rural District Council has embarked on an engagement campaign with businesses and key stakeholders to recover over $300 million owed by various debtors.

The council has recently faced revenue inflow issues, which threatens the delivery of basic services.

For example, the fertilizer company, Sable Chemicals, owes Zibagwe RDC $10 million, while the Silobela-based mine, Jena Mine, owes the rural authority a total of $103,850.

Speaking at a recent full board meeting, Chief Executive Mr Farayi Desmond Machaya said they were in the process of engaging the companies.

“Our taxpayers owe us over $300 million. We embarked on a campaign to get companies and mines to make them pay. We are in the process of engaging Sable Chemicals, Jena Mine and other companies that have not paid their dues to make payment arrangements,” he said.

“We continue to engage our debtors to come up with debt settlement plans. The development threatened to derail service delivery and also saw the council fail to meet its own obligations, resulting in a blond creditor count of $68 million.

“Our creditors also continue to increase on a monthly basis due to low revenue collection, which prevents us from meeting our obligations as they come due. Our creditors as of May 30, 2020 are $68.4 million,” Mr. Machaya said.

In order to strengthen its revenue collection, the council decided to visit the mines scattered in its jurisdiction and encourage them to pay. The local authority has also started collecting fees in USD in order to combat inflation.

“We have also informed the respective ward councilors to encourage village chiefs to levy a development levy in hard currency to hedge against inflation so collections can make meaningful contributions to each ward,” Mr. Machaya.


Regarding financial performance, Mr. Machaya said the rural authority had received a cumulative revenue of $44 million, which is 10 percent of the annual budget of $454.2 million.

Mr Machaya, however, applauded the government for the decentralization funds the council continued to receive as it went a long way to cover a huge gap.

“Despite the above-mentioned challenges, we remain optimistic about a brighter future given the funding provided by the decentralization, massive infrastructure projects rolled out by the central government,” he said.

“The economic outlook looks very promising, anchored by robust implementation of policies outlined in National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030.”


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