Lilongwe City Council owed K9 billion in city rates, affecting delivery of services

Business owners in Lilongwe owe the city council K9 billion in arrears due to nonpayment of city rates some of which date back to more than five years.

Kaduya: We will seal the properties

Lilongwe City Mayor, Juliana Kaduya revealed bemoaned that the city council is failing to fulfill expectations of city residents, including business owners, due to inadequate resources.

Kaduya said this was happening at a time business owners in the city owe the city council about K9 million in non-payments of city rates. She said some of these date back to more than five years.

To increase revenue, the mayor said LCC will step up enforcement of payment of city rates by business owners operating in the city to improve the council’s service delivery.

“As a city council, we have the mandate and obligation by law to offer city residents quality and reliable infrastructure and services such as street cleansing, construction of markets, street lighting and road maintenance.

“However, the current reality is that we are not able to offer desired quality of services and infrastructure to residents and businesses due to inadequate resources.

“For a long time, the residents and business operators have complained about our service delivery,” Kaduya said.

To this effect, the Lilongwe City Mayor said the council was determined to improve the quality and coverage of its services and infrastructural developments in the city.

She said the city council will therefore step up enforcement of payment of city rates to mobilize adequate resources to improve its service delivery through enforcement of laws.

According to the mayor, the council has adopted a number of measures aimed at collecting all revenue that is due to it.

According Kaduya, from October 21, 2019, the council will start sealing property of city rate payers who are unwilling to settle their debts, remove bill boards and other advertising sign posts that are illegal and whose owners have not paid annual fees.

She said the city council will also intensify business licensing campaign and collection of market fees from all markets including informal ones and car markets.

In addition, the city council will also seriously monitor revenue collectors and support staff in order to safeguard the revenue collected.

“We have strengthened our internal controls. Shortly, we will embark on e-ticketing and e-business licensing in our markets.

“In addition, we are working closely with Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in corruption prevention as well as prosecution.

“We want to ensure that all resources belonging to the local council should reach its bank account,” she said.

LCC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), John Chome appealed to residents and business operators in the city to embrace payment of taxes, saying the council relies on city rates to deliver quality services and infrastructure.

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I share your pain. But one question, though. Assuming that you get all the MK9bn tomorrow, how would you handle such a huge amount? Your track record of handling money is not good enough. That’s my take.

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