NDC secretary general Mwenya Musenge other than abolishing the Local Government Service Commission, NDC will also dissolve offices of District Commissioners and redeploy staff to Local Government Authorities where there’s lack of human resource.
And Musenge who is former Copperbelt Province minister, says when in power, NDC will not tolerate political party cadres who collect levies at markets, stations, as well as other forms of illegal taxes from traders.
In his party’s weekly news letter to News Diggers! Musenge highlighted some of the things that hindered Local Government Authorities from having discretion in determining their own expenditure allocation.
He stated that Zambia had not experienced, comprehensive decentralisation reforms which had produced results to guarantee an efficient and effective administration of Local Government Authorities for purposes of public service provision.
“Firstly the positions of District Commissioners at local level appointed by the head of State provides a direct link with the executive arm of government therefore bypassing the Local Government Authority and undermining the powers of elected councillors. This situation causes overlapping functions and creates policy uncertainty. The Local Government Act of 1991 also needs to be amended so that central government does not interfere in its operations. Under the current act, the minister and central government are able to overturn the decisions of Local Government Authorities,” he stated.
“Interference also comes in from the Local Government Service Commission. The commission was setup in 2011 to oversee the recruitment, transfer and firing of Local Government workers country wide. Local Government Service Commissions mostly political party affiliates are appointed by the executive. This creates interference by the party in power and central government in the management of human resource by Local Government Authorities.”
Musenge stated that to resolve the above challenges, NDC would ensure that Local Government Authorities had the power to determine their own expenditure allocations without interference from central government.
He further stated that his party would enable Local Government Authorities to have the capacity to collect their own revenue and define their own tax base.
Musenge added that NDC would not tolerate political party cadres who collected market levy, station levy and other forms of illegal taxes from people.
“We will not tolerate political party cadres who collect market levy, station levy and other forms of taxes from poor Zambians who wake up early morning to sustain themselves through trade. All public places, such as town halls, markets, bus stations and bus stops will be administered by the Local Government Authorities,” he stated.
And Musenge stated that their devolution plan would ensure that Local Government Authorities fund more than 80 percent of their operations in the provision of public service.
“Although local governments rely on central government for funding, capacity and structures to deliver public services, our devolution plan will ensure that local government authorities fund more than 80% of their operations in the provision of public service. As part of our reforms, local government Authorities will be assigned with the functions and responsibilities of basic public service delivery functions such as primary health care, education, agricultural extension, local water supply, waste management disposal and road construction at district level and ward level,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Musenge stated that NDC would abolish the Local Government Service Commission because local government staffing and planning would be controlled and managed by the local government themselves.
He further stated that they would dissolve offices of the District Commissioners and redeploy staff to Local Government Authorities where human resource deficiencies were in existence.
“As NDC we will create administrative capacity at the local council level not only devolving power and functions but by also retaining human resource from central government to local level and cut off unnecessary long chain of commands. We will dissolve offices of the district commissioners and redeploy staff to local government Authorities were human resources deficiencies are in existence. These reforms will ensure thriving local government Authorities which are accountable to the people than politicians. We will also ensure that government only retains the role policy formulation and oversight over local government authorities,” stated Musenge.