Thursday, March 24, 2011

Autonomy of councils has been usurped, says Lubinda

Autonomy of councils has been usurped, says Lubinda
By Bright Mukwasa
Thu 24 Mar. 2011, 04:01 CAT

THE reintroduction of the Local Govern-ment Service Comm-ission is against the spirit of decentralisation, says Given Lubinda.

In an interview, Lubinda, who is also PF chairperson for local government, said the revamping of the Commission was likely to slow down the process of implementing decentralisation.

"The government adopted the decentralisation plan in 2009 but in the process, we have digressed by establishing a centralised structure through the Local Government Service Commission. You see this is against the spirit of decentralisation and it will give the MMD opportunity to abuse council resources," Lubinda said.

He said the nature of operations of the Commission would demand centralising the operations of the council which was contrary to the tenets of decentralisation. Lubinda complained that the autonomy of the councils had been usurped.

"Councils are now paying allegiance to the government instead of the councillors. Matters of councils are being discussed by ministers in the press,” he said. Lubinda said the government must move quickly in decentralising the operations of the councils if they were to perform.

Lubinda also advised the government to establish a charge similar to the television levy that would compel people to pay for solid waste management. The reintroduction of the Local Government Service Commission is intended to streamline the council’s operations and ensure effectiveness in the local government system.

The government has already appointed commissioners. And Lubinda called on parliamentarians to take advantage of the offer by the Ministry of Tourism to collect a specific number of trees for planting in their constituencies.

Lubinda, who is also Kabwata parliamentarian, said his constituency had embraced the offer and was already aiming at planting 20,000 trees.

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