An estimated ZWL$10 million owed by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) in unpaid rates to the Hwange Local Board (HLB) is crippling operations of the latter, with the local authority now struggling to pay salaries for its employees, CITE has since established.
ZPC, a subsidiary of the power utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings, is a major revenue contributor to the local authority.
A source within the Council told CITE the ZPC debt was adversely impacting on their operations.
“Zimbabwe Power Company owes Hwange Local Board about ZWL$10 million in outstanding rates payments,” said the source.
“With ZPC being the local authority’s major rate payer, the Council is now finding itself in a precarious position where it has failed to pay its employees’ salaries for two months.”
HLB offers service delivery at ZPC’s Baobab and Chibondo suburbs where it is responsible for road, sewer and lightning maintenance as well as refuse collection.
“The local authority has since taken ZPC to court,” added the source.
However, contacted for comment the HLB public relations officer, Dumisani Nsingo, could neither deny nor confirm that ZPC owed them that amount.
“Council is being owed by a number of institutions and residents and it will be unfair and unprofessional to single out only one,” said Nsingo.
“I however, confirm that there was a delay in the payment of salaries but the issue is being sorted out and workers will receive their dues soon. Our workforce is aware of the challenges we are faced with and is very cooperative.”
ZESA Holdings acting group stakeholder relations manager, Prisca Utete, asked that questions be sent to her email address, when contacted for comment, of which was immediately done.
However, when asked when the responses should be expected, she then said she was out of office.
“Am out of office till Friday,” she said.
“Will advise when I get back.”