By Watipaso Mzungu:
Mayor for Lilongwe City Council (LCC), Juliana Kaduya has said the council is failing to provide some services to residents because some of them are not paying city and ground rates to the council.
Kaduya told journalists yesterday that the council is owed over K9 billion in uncollected rates and that this has weakened the council’s financial base; hence, it cannot provide high quality services.
“We have come up with a number of measures to collect this money. We wish to notify the public that from October 21, we will start sealing all houses and buildings whose occupants have not settled their rates,” she said.
The warning comes a few days after Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Charles Kalemba, had issued a directive to the councils to cancel vendors’ relocation exercise due to the volatile political environment in the country.
But Kaduya insisted that the council will not relent in its resolve to collect what is due to it.
“We know there are some people who are politically-connected. But I can assure you that we will go after everyone that owes us. We won’t care whether someone is politically-connected,” she said.
“We need money to develop this city. Residents have been accusing us of doing nothing to deliver quality services, but they forgot that they were largely to blame for this through nonpayment of the rates,” Kaduya added.
LCC Chief Executive Officer John Chome said the council will employ necessary mechanisms to ensure disgruntled residents and businesspersons do not take advantage of the exercise to launch unwarranted protests.