HomeEditorial CommentChefs must pay up their bills

Chefs must pay up their bills

A campaign to scrap municipal bills may pass as a populist policy intended to help ordinary people who voted for Zanu PF, yet in reality it is designed to help chefs avoid paying up huge debts accrued over the years.

Standard Editorial

Zanu PF first announced that it wanted municipal bills done away with a few days before the harmonised elections, drawing a sharp rebuke from voters who saw it as nothing but a campaign gimmick.

However, days after its crushing victory over MDC formations, Zanu PF is not relenting in its quest to scrap the bills, without paying any regard to how this will affect councils.

On Wednesday Vice-President Joice Mujuru further revealed Zesa bills would also be scrapped so that Zimbabweans could finally enjoy the “fruits of their independence”.

While ratepayers burdened by inflated bills for services not rendered will welcome the move, behind this populist move is a sinister attempt by Zanu PF chefs to avoid paying huge bills accrued at their farms and other businesses.

The Zanu PF officials who own multiple farms owe Zesa and Zinwa amounts that run into several millions of US dollars. The amounts owed by households in Kuwadzana and Chitungwiza pale into insignificance when compared to these.

For example, President-elect Robert Mugabe, who boasts of a highly-mechanised dairy project, Gushungo Diary in Mazowe, owed the power utility as at December 31 2011 over US$345 000.

Zanu PF officials, military bosses and others well-connected to the party also owed the two parastatals huge amounts of money.

So this whole campaign was made up with this in mind, and is intended to give cover to the chefs that do not want to pay the Zesa and Zinwa bills.

Since independence, these officials were used to freebies and now that they have dislodged MDC formations from government, nothing will stop them from forcing parastatals to write-off their bills under the guise of helping the poor masses.

The untold story is that when the parastatals fail to provide services as a result of the debt relief, it is the poor that will suffer most.

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