By Munesu Nyakudya
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has garnished City of Harare bank accounts as it seeks to recoup RTGS$115 million in tax arrears owed by the Council.
In a statement Council lamented that the move is “adversely affecting Council’s daily operations as the City cannot honour payments to service providers including fuel and water treatment chemical suppliers”.
“This has seen the city failing to collect refuse in time resulting in garbage piling up across the City,” it said.
“Revenue inflows have been greatly affected by the effects of Covid-19.
“The City is resultantly failing to pay its workers”, it added.
Council added that it is currently engaging the revenue collector to seek relief so that available resources can be ploughed into service delivery.
This is not the first time the City Council has had its accounts garnished by the revenue collector due to its failure to service tax debts.
During Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni’s tenure ZIMRA garnished the Council accounts over another ZWL$40 million debt in outstanding taxes, resulting in the Council failing to pay its workers.
In 2019 government had to write off ZWL$135 million owed to ZIMRA by Council as part of measures to capacitate the local authority to deal with the still prevailing challenges of water and general service delivery.
The ZWL$135 million of penalties had accumulated over years from a ZWL$30 million debt leaving the City Council owing the government ZWL$170 million.