FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza says the salary increment for councilors is a mockery because Councillors work harder than members of parliament.

Yesterday, local government minister Vincent Mwale announced that government was in the process of increasing Councillors’ salaries from K700 to K3000 saying they could not be paid as much as executive mayors because they were not permanent employees.

But in a statement today, Mwanza observed that the Patriotic Front did not understand and appreciate the role and function of local authorities in national development.

Mwanza stated that it was unfortunate that cadres had taken over the running of Councils; which was destabilising income generation.

Mwanza listed some of the functions of local authorities to support his arguments.

Below is the full statement:


For those who do not understand and appreciate the role and function of local government to national development will be quick to applaud the PF Government for pegging the salaries of Councillors at K3000 from the current K700 but before going any further let me list the Constitutional functions of Local Authorities. Below is a list of functions of the Councils:

• Pollution control
• Building regulations
• Child-care facilities
• Electricity
• Fire fighting services
• Local tourism
• District airports, Aerodromes and Airships
• District planning
• District health services
• District public transport
• District public works only in respect of the needs of Districts in the discharge of councils responsibilities to administer functions specifically assigned to them under this Constitution or other law
• Levies, tariffs and tolls
• Pontoons, ferries, jetties, piers and harbours, excluding the regulation of international and national shipping and matters related thereto
• Storm water management systems in built-up areas
• Trading
• Water and sanitation services limited to potable water supply systems and domestic waste-water and sewage disposal systems
• Veterinary services, excluding regulation of the veterinary profession
• Vehicle licensing
• Abattoirs
• Ambulance services
• Archives
• Libraries
• Liquor licencing
• Museums, local spatial planning
• Cultural matters
• Recreation and amenities
• Sport
• Roads and traffic automation and maintenance
• Amusement facilities
• Billboards and the display of advertisements in public places
• Cemeteries, funeral parlours and crematoria
• Local cleansing
• Control of public nuisances
• Control of undertakings that sell liquor to the public
• Facilities for the accommodation, care and burial of animals
• Fencing and fences
• Licensing of dogs
• Licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public
• Local amenities
• Local sport facilities
• Markets
• Local parks and recreation
• Local roads
• Noise pollution
• Pounds
• Public places
• Refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal
• Street trading
• Street lighting
• Traffic and parking
• Gardens and landscaping

If you look at the roles, responsibilties and functions of the Councils as listed above you will understand and appreciate why K3000 monthly salary is a mockery.

Compare the work of Councillors to that of MPs whose primary responsibility is to legislating, oversight and provision of checks and balances on the Executive you will realise that Councils have more work yet MPs get that K3000 for shouting Hear Hear Hear or for dosing in Parliament in two sessions.

We must understand that our pursuit for a decentralised governance system were power is devolved to the local authorities will never be attained for as long as we continue to trivialise the work and authority of our councils.

Someone may ask ati, “Where will the money come from to pay all the Councillors since the government doesn’t have money?” The answer is simple, Councils don’t have to depend on the Consolidated Fund for their salaries and programs because they generate their own resources from levies, tariffs and tolls.

The only challenge is that our Councils are failing to generate enough revenue due to the fact that cadres have forcibly taken over the running and management of many council facilities and their pilfering and looting the money which should go to the councils. What the government should do is to allow the Local Authority to operate without any undue political pressure and manipulation and the Councils will be able to generate enough revenues necessary for the service delivery and national development.