Ntcheu District Council says its revenue collection has gone down by almost 50 percent in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which continues to negatively affect global economies.
Ntcheu District Council Finance Committee chairperson councillor Ezra Mike said this recently during a stakeholder accountability forum on market revenue and service delivery supported by USAid/UKAid through Local Government Accountability and Performance (Lgap).
The meeting was to discuss local revenue generation in relation to bottlenecks affecting service delivery.
Mike said several factors have affected revenue such as Covid-19 and encroachment.
He said the council had initially planned to collect K179 million in the 2019/2020 financial year but only collected K97 million.
“The council’s revenue has gone down. This is due to several factors which include Covid-19 and encroachment in the market places where people are claiming ownership of the land, thereby collecting money on their own,” said Mike.
He admitted that the council is still using old by-laws but said Lgap is willing to support the council in coming up with revised by-laws.
The forum was attended by market revenue officers from the district council, civil society organisations representatives of market committees and representatives of different business groups and selected vendors.
One of the vendors, Andrew Phiri admitted that some vendors do not pay their market fee but attributed the same to failure by the authorities to insist on payment.