Mzuzu City Council owed K1.1 billion
At the height of reports of financial extravagance at the Mzuzu City Council (MCC), the council is failing to collect about K1.1 billion it is owed by property owners and businesspersons in unpaid city and ground rates.
Such is the case though re-elected Mayor for the city William Mkandawire claimed recently that there have been improvements in revenue collection mechanisms at the council during his first term of office.
Asked on why the council is failing to further strengthen its revenue collection, spokesperson for the council Karen Msiska attributed the development to, among other reasons, numerous legal battles.
“The only option for property which is not paid for, for instance, is sealing [the property], but in a number of cases, property owners have rushed to restrain such action through court injunctions,” Msiska said.
He then bemoaned that the development is crippling a number of operations at the council to the dissatisfaction of city residents.
He said “We provide a number of services, including refuse collection and street lighting. Thus, when owed such huge amounts of money, we fail to provide such services to the required standards.
Msiska, however, disclosed that the council is working hard at utilising its other sources of income such as issuance of business licences, hiring out of plants and collection of market fees.
This comes at a time when the council is struggling to pay about K10 million to its ex-employees as gratuity.
Meanwhile, the council has asked all those who want to retire during the next financial year to inform the Human Resource Department in advance to ensure speedy processing of benefits.
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