Low revenue crippling service delivery in Moyo

Women sell fish in Moyo District recently. Authorities say low local revenue collection is hindering service delivery in Moyo Town Council. PHOTO | FILE

Low revenue collection is crippling service delivery in Moyo Town Council, leaders have said.

This has been attributed to political interference, corruption and the social-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The affected services include garbage collection, road and water maintenance, and payment of local government staff wages and allowances.

Moyo Town Council’s urban development plans are supposed to feed into the National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) designed under the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, but this is not being realised.

The council depends on revenue from markets, property tax, bus and taxi parks, among others.

Speaking to Daily Monitor at the weekend, Mr Natalino Tavulega, the town council treasurer, said on average, for the past six years, the revenue performance of the council has been fluctuating between 76 per cent and 92 per cent.

“Our revenue collection is from property tax, licences and other non-revenue performing items that generate at least higher percentages than the market dues collected,” Mr Tavulega said. 

He added: “Recently, the market and park fee were not doing well due to policy changes on taxi park and for the past three years, the bus operators have not been paying their user fees, which affected council operations.”

Mr Tavulega attributed the low collection from property tax to failure to value the buildings.

“We are now planning to engage government to conduct valuation of those property in the town,” he said.

Moyo Town Council relies on revenue from two markets which are small with poor facilities. This has discouraged traders from conducting business in them.

Mr Charles Anyama, the assistant town clerk, said: “We have a market which was constructed in the 1960s and was designed to accomodate 300 vendors but their numbers have increased and this facility is small and dilapidated.”

He added: “Vendors do not have where to sell their items. If we had market where these vendors can be accommodated, our revenue would shoot up.”

The council is lobbying for the construction of modern markets to solve the problem. 

Mr Ismail Toha, a member of taxi operators association in Moyo Town Council, said people are evading paying taxes due to administrative inefficiencies, lack of sensitisation, political interference, and corruption.

“Moyo Town Council majorly depends on the trade license but the council cannot collect required taxes because of poor perception,” Mr Toha said.

 He urged the council to  facilitate  creation of  more income generating opportunities if they are to realise the required taxes.

Mr Richard Edema, a businessman in Moyo Town Council, said property tax would have been a major source of revenue in Moyo town if collection of the tax is well supervised.