Insiza Rural District Council (RDC) says it is targeting to collect over $500 000 from land development levies with part of the funds earmarked for the improvement of social services infrastructure in new resettlement areas.

Before the land reform programme, Insiza North constituency was predominantly a commercial farming area, as such development of social services infrastructure was concentrated on the southern part of the district.

Now with new settlements in Insiza North, the local authority has been under pressure to provide schools and clinics for these communities despite limited revenue generated by the council.

Chief Executive Officer of Insiza RDC, Mr Fedris Manombe said the lives of the communities in the new resettlement areas are set to improve after government reverted powers to collect land development levies to councils.

The move will see the local authority raising more than $500 000 this year. Collection of the land unit tax was previously in the hands of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement following concerns that RDCs were abusing the funds.

“Between 2015 and 2017 we haven’t been generating much revenue and this has affected service delivery particularly in the new resettlement areas where there is need for social services. I am excited that we have been given the green light to collect land unit tax as we will realise about $500 000,” said Mr Manombe.

Meanwhile, Insiza North requires about four new clinics to serve the population in the constituency.

Infrastructure at schools Lambamayi, Shangani, Siyazama and Mpalawani also need improvement while 16 primary schools are also required.

Most children in the new resettlement areas are learning in making shift classrooms which compromises their education while the absence of proper houses for teachers has seen the professionals shunning the institutions.