Hamstrung Mutare City Halts Critical Service Delivery

Mutare City council has bemoaned the price distortions in the market for its failure to deliver services to residents saying most service providers now require United States dollars despite rate payers paying bills in local RTGS dollars.

In a notice to its stakeholders, Mutare city council said most service providers were now charging in US dollars, while its charges remained in the local currency.

Mayor Blessing Tandi is on record stating that council’s income streams had dwindled owing to the coronavirus pandemic, with monthly revenue collections down by significant margins.

Council spokesperson Spren Mutiwi says this decline in revenue collections and the hyper-inflationary environment has spiked the costs of supplying water in the Eastern border city

“We now require more than ZWL$3 million per month for the monthly water treatment chemicals. The suppliers are also charging in foreign currency and they use black market rates.

“The cost of procuring water treatment chemicals is now very exorbitant and it is mandatory that treatment should be done before conveying the precious liquid to residents and institutions,” he said.

“Since the national lockdown, our revenue collection has declined significantly.

“We are now collecting 10 percent of our capacity and we cannot commit beyond our capacity, mindful of the fact that the current collections cannot even cover costs,” Mutiwi said.

The municipality has now given notice that service delivery including refuse collection, sewer and burst pies as well as general repair and maintenance works have been greatly affected by the fuel crisis.

“Notice is hereby given that due to the fuel crisis affecting the country, City of Mutare has not been spared by the challenges and service delivery has been affected.

“We are finding it difficult to procure fuel for service delivery because almost all suppliers are demanding to be paid in United States dollars.

“Council charges its services in the local currency while fuel is sold in foreign currency.

“The fuel crisis is beyond the control of City of Mutare and we urge our customers and stakeholders to bear with us.

“The critically affected services are refuse collection, sewer and water burst repairs, transportation of material for general repair and maintenance works among a host of other critical service delivery,” reads part of the notice.

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