Lockdown: Mutare council revenues plunge

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By Staff Reporter

Mutare: Authorities have revealed the border city’s revenue collections have plummeted to just 20 percent of the normal figures due to the current national lockdown period imposed against the spread of coronavirus.

City mayor Blessing Tandi said the unfortunate development has compromised the quality of service delivery by the local authority.

Tandi was speaking in an interactive online discussion which was organised by United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT) this past week.

“Lockdown has impacted on service delivery and as a local authority mandated to provide service delivery, our revenue base has shrunk to around 20 percent in terms of collections,” he said.

The city’s first resident said the local authority was now engaged in other services which were not budgeted for and this has strained its purse.

Said the mayor, “For example, we are paying allowances for frontline workers to cushion them during the fight against Covid-19.

“We are also procuring fuel for bowsers to ensure there is provision of adequate water to residents in areas such as Dangamvura.”

Tandi said revenue collection has dwindled to less than $100 000 a day.

He pleaded with ratepayers to take advantage of online banking platforms to play their part through settling bills to allow council to effectively discharge its mandate during Covid-19 lockdown.

However, the plunge in city revenue collections may not be divorced from that business was forced to take a break in the past two months as part of the national lockdown against Covid-19.

A lot of residents also depend on informal trade as sources of income, with government yet to ease restrictions on operations of the sector.