Lilongwe City Council (LCC) says it has intensified efforts aimed at collecting city rates owed to it by various property owners in the city.
LCC public relations officer Tamara Chafunya, speaking in an interview on Saturday, disclosed that the city rate arrears are currently estimated at K8.6 billion.
She said the growing trend of not paying city rates has left the council paralysed as it cannot adequately and effectively deliver services to residents.
Chafunya said the council has since issued notices through the print and electronic media, reminding property owners and in particular the defaulters, to consider effecting timely payment of the rates.
She said the council shall resort to legal proceedings where it faces resistance and/or property owners are reluctant to pay city rates as provided under Section 91 of the Local Government Act 1998.
“The council has engaged reputable law firms and debt collection firms to recover unpaid property rates,”said Chafunya.
When LCC ground rate arrears hit the K8 billion mark in December 2014, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito asked the council to exercise caution before disposing of property belonging to defaulters.
“If councils were delivering quality service many would be compelled to pay [rates],” he said.