LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE LEAKAGES THROUGH CORRUPTION DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN AFRICA: THE CASE OF ZIMBABWE, PP. 80-96
Zimbabwe has over the years experienced rampant corruption in all sectors of the economy. At local government level, there have been several allegations of corruption in areas such as revenue collection, procurement and land acquisitions among others. The magnitude of corruption is extreme especially in revenue collection. Most funds collected by local government revenue officials hardly reach municipalities’ coffers and are not accounted for. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has further created a breeding ground for corruption in revenue collection at local government level due to economic doldrums.
Measures imposed by governments to contain the COVID-19 pandemic such as closure of all non-essential business activities, closure of borders and travel restrictions among others have reduced trade and economic activities. This has negatively affected income of businesses and governments leading to retrenchments and salary cuts. Individuals and companies are willing to pay a bribe so as to, either avoid total payment or underpay for services provided by municipalities. Local government officials have not been spared from financial stresses during the pandemic and they are also willing to accept a bribe or embe