Local authorities lose money in rates revenue
KASEMPA District Council chairperson Jeffrey Kalukanda says the local authority was losing millions of kwacha in rates revenue by undercharging property owners as charges were still based on a 1996 Valuation Roll.
According to Kalukanda, an MMD councilor for Nkenyauna, Kasempa had a limited revenue base for generating funds for projects and service delivery in the area and using an old valuation roll had worsened the situation.
He told Local Government Minister Prof Nkandu Luo in a meeting with MMD councilors when she visited the district on Monday that as a result, Kasempa District council faced nearly a K3 billion deficit in unpaid salaries to workers, retirees, litigation costs and statutory fees.
Kalukanda said as an alternative, the council was developing a 10-unit housing project with K1 billion funding from the Ministry of Local Government to boost revenue but was beset by a K300 million balance to finish the project.
He said the council had also created 1000 plots out of which 300 had been surveyed with 10.5 kilometers of road done but asked that Government help in opening up the Kasempa/Kaoma road to increase business activities in the area.
Meanwhile, MMD councilors and PF officials who were in attendance during the meeting shook hands, hugged, shared drinks and called a ‘truce’ following bickering after Prof Luo asked them to reconcile for the sake of development in the district.
Prof Luo stated that she had deliberately allowed PF officials in the meeting with the MMD councilors in order to create understanding between them to work together as time for campaigning, where friction was prominent, had ended and residents were waiting to development.