Texamination of strategies of local revenue collection in local government authorities in Zambia:a case of Gwembe district council

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Kelvin, Mushimbwa
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The University of Zambia
For their daily activities, administrative and other costs, Local government authorities in Zambia rely almost exclusively on funding from Central Government chiefly due to their inability to mobilize enough revenue from local sources within their jurisdictions. Taking Gwembe District in Southern Province of Zambia as a case study, this study examined existing strategies used by the local government authority to increase its local revenue collection for the period 2015 to 2018. Employing quantitative research method, a population of 46 Employees of Gwembe District Council were purposively sampled out of total population of 76 employees to gain insights from key informants involved in designing and executing local revenue collection systems using a selfadministered semi structured questionnaire. The research results showed that the current strategies are not yielding the expected results in local revenue collection. The inability to mobilize sufficient local revenue by local authorities can be seen merely as a symptom of more deep-seated socioeconomic and institutional constraints. The conceptual lens through which the socioeconomic, infrastructural and institutional constraints on local revenue collection are uncovered is the study’s main contribution. While more generally a number of the constraints here identified have been captured in the broader literature, this has either been coincidental or piecemeal if fragmented without due regard to the wide-ranging framework and terrain of analysis through which the problems can be seen. Because the conceptual framework is capable of identifying the deep-seated constraints and nature of their effect on revenue collection, the study goes a step beyond just identifying these constraints by erecting series of recommendations which can prove useful to both revenue mobilization and collection. Based on the findings and conclusions drawn from this study, the research study recommends the following: setting up a cross-cutting task force within the council that will look at revenue collection; tax payer sensitization regarding the need to pay taxes on time and also feedback on overall council performance; updating tax payer database; reviewing expenditure needs; outsourcing the revenue collection function in remote areas; and in house training of revenue collectors to keep them abreast with developments in new legislation, as measures to enhance local revenue collection. KEY WORDS: Local Revenue Collection, strategies, taxpayer and constraints
Local Revenue Collection--strategies , Taxpayer and constraints--Local collections