The UN-HABITAT backed Mzuzu Urban Profile report has attributed low revenue collection by the Mzuzu City Council to corrupt practices and the absence of monitoring and evaluation systems.
This is despite the fact Mzuzu’s economy is growing at a rate of 5.8 percent per annum and has an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of MK 6 billion.
“There is need to improve the capacity of the City Council to provide basic urban services, social infrastructure and proper maintenance policies for the city,” the report proposes.
The report further noted that inadequate resources hamper efficient infrastructure development, basic urban service delivery and maintenance in the city.
“Poor accountability and transparency in the absence of elected councillors has increased cases of corruption and inefficiency in performance,” reads part of the report which is part of the Participatory Slam Upgrading Programme.
The Council’s revenue base is mainly property rates, service charges and fees, government grants and donations.
The report launched three weeks ago and will cost US$11.5 million and is aimed at accelerating urban development and reducing poverty.
But Mzuzu City Council Chief Executive Richard Hara has down played the report’s findings saying it only focuses on findings of a desk study and interviews with key informants.
“But a consensus was also reached on priority interventions in the form of programmes and projects to be implemented in long and short,” Hara said.