Dedza District Council locally generated revenue has declined by 50 percent due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In an interview, Dedza district commissioner (DC) Emmanuel Bulukutu said the decline in revenue has affected the council’s operations and direct employees.
He said: “We generate about K6 million every month locally, but we are getting half that amount. Our wage bill is over K5 million, but we are getting K3 million.
“At Dedza Central Market where we used to collect K80 000 monthly, we are now getting less than half that amount.”
The DC said the decline was a result of people stopping to patronise markets due to the pandemic.
Said Bulukutu: “As a result, we are unable to pay our employees on time.
“Paying utilities and essential services such as garbage collection is a problem, considering that we owe workers arrears for some months.”
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development chief economist Flemings Nyirenda said the ministry has assessed the impact of Covid-19 on councils in terms of their capability to deliver services and pay salaries.
“We have since compiled and submitted to government wage bills for the councils for the period of three months for possible support,” he said.