By Tonderai Saharo
BIKITA Rural District Council saw its revenue collection for the first quarter of 2021 going down by 30%.
The drop has been mainly attributed to the effects of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen businesses closing due to lockdowns to contain the virus.
Bikita RDC chief executive Peter Chibhi told NewZimbabwe.com last week that during the first quarter of 2021 they managed only construct classroom blocks at three schools and the projects were still in their infancy.
“The summary from what is happening now, in brief, is that construction of blocks at Musiya Primary School block is at 7%, Tamuka Secondary School block is 11% and Manunure Secondary school 9% complete,” he said.
“We are prioritising expenditure and living from hand-to-mouth due to the limited revenue collection rate.”
Chibhi said the RDC was $16 million by its ratepayers and efforts to collect the rentals had proved to be a challenge.
“We had to compromise to ensure the little being collected has to meet basic delivery service delivery issues like refuse collection, emergency borehole rehabilitation and to cater for basic overheads to allow the council to move on” he added.
However, as part of efforts to recover what the local authority is owed, Chibhi said they had engaged lawyers to collect outstanding revenue from ratepayers who are mostly businesses, to cut the ballooning debt.