GWANDA councillors have resolved to exempt senior citizens from paying bills.
The resolution, made at a meeting held in the council chambers on Thursday, has been forwarded to the municipality’s management for further deliberation.
Chairperson of the housing committee Councillor Thulani Moyo made the recommendation in a report. Councillor Justone Mazhale moved the proposal and Councillor Mduduzi Ncube seconded it.
“There are some elderly people who have never paid their bills not because they don’t want but because they don’t have means to pay. It’s pointless to continue billing a person who will just hold the bill and look at it and do nothing at the end of it all,” said Clr Moyo.
Clr Mazhale said the council budget should not be done relying on the vulnerable elderly.
The matter was later referred to the council management to come up with a criteria to vet the vulnerable elderly people as it was agreed that not all elderly citizens in Gwanda were to benefit from the waiver.
Gwanda residents owe the municipality more than $4 million in unpaid bills. In February the town fathers were forced to enlist debt collectors to force residents to settle their bills.
The council owes Zinwa $10 million for water supplied and on average Zinwa bills the municipality $105 000 per month.
Gwanda council on average is paying $30 000 per month for the service, leaving a shortfall of around $70 000 per month. In a bid to force council to pay its debt, Zinwa installed prepaid bulk water meters for the council. chronicle