Councils dared to improve revenue base

Written by on August 8, 2019

COUNCILS have been challenged to embark on income-generating activities in order to improve their revenue base.

Local Government and Housing Minister, Charles Banda, said councils should consider venturing into innovative resource mobilization ventures to supplement their income rather than rely on the central government for their resources.

Dr Banda said this when he toured the construction sites of the hotel, shopping mall, bus station and an ablution block by the Kapiri Mposhi Town Council (KMTC) at the cost of K 22,8 million in order to try and raise its revenue base.

“It is very gratifying that this council is taking advantage of its strategic position in the country to initiate projects such as a hotel and bus station for raising revenue… Kapiri Council is a model for what other councils should be doing to attain self-reliance,” Dr Banda said.

The minister observed that there were various other ventures and opportunities that the local authorities could exploit to make themselves financially viable.

“I’m very impressed with these resourceful projects because this is what we want our councils to be doing in as far as income generation is concerned so that they don’t continuously and solely depend on government money for salaries and operations but attain self-reliance,” Dr Banda said.

But Dr Banda has advised Kapiri Mposhi Town Council management to prioritize and channel the available resources to projects that it could currently afford to build.

Dr Banda was responding to Kapiri Mposhi Town Council Secretary Isaac Zimba who disclosed that the construction of the K11m shopping mall has stalled due to lack of funds.

Mr Zimba said the council had hoped to finance the construction of the shopping mall from the sale of planned and serviced plots in the newly opened-up Kapiri Mposhi South Zone.

Mr Zimba however said the project which was earmarked for completion in February 2019, had been put on hold because some people had taken the council to the Lands Tribunal which has led to the suspension of the development.

“The expected money is not coming due to a complaint lodged against the council with the land tribunal over the land we hoped to sale to raise revenue to fund the construction of the hotel and shopping mall,” Mr Kabasa said.

The hotel and shopping mall were being constructed at K10m and K11m respectively using locally generated resources while the bus station is being funded by the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) at the cost of K1.3m.

Mr Zimba stated that the ablution block is also being constructed at the total cost of K 485, 000 from local resources and that the council hoped to raise about K 3,000 per day from the facility once it was completed.

The 40 roomed three star hotel and shopping mall are being constructed by ZANCOR Investments and Dafa Construction Limited, respectively, while a local contractor has been engaged to construct the bus station and ablution block.

Kapiri Mposhi Town Council embarked on the construction of the two facilities to augment its revenue base and reduce overdependence on the central government for financial support towards provision of services in the district. – ZANIS

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