Members of staff at Mzuzu City Council have gone three months without receiving salaries.
This, according to the council’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), McLoud Kadam’manja, is because the council is failing to collect revenue.
Kadam’manja said individuals and other government parastatals owe the council K1 billion in city rates which include ground rentals.
The debts, according to the council, are affecting the institution’s operations to provide other services to its residents.
This was revealed during an extraordinary full council meeting that was held to find ways of resolving some challenges the council is facing.
At the meeting, the council agreed that there should be a special committee mandated to follow-up with the government and private institutions that are failing to pay city rates.
“It is true that companies, institutions and other individuals are not giving us city rates. Therefore, the meeting has agreed to take another gear by approaching them using-independent committee of which its members will come from departments of finance and planning to claim our revenue.
“This affects our operations because the money is used to provide services such as paying bills for street lights, garbage collection, among, others,” Kadam’manja said.
Meanwhile, the council CEO said some government institutions have started showing commitment on how best they can pay back the debts.
At the meeting, ward-councillors proposed to start shutting down companies and institutions that have debts with the council.
During the meeting, councilors have agreed to take responsibility of civic educating residents in their wards on the importance of paying city rents.
Some of the institutions that owe the council are private schools, colleges and renowned business people among others.
Meanwhile, social commentator, Moses Mkandawire, has said companies and individuals are not supposed to be reminded to be paying city rates if they want the council to be providing quality services.