Thursday, May 24, 2012
By Moses Kuwema
Thu 24 May 2012, 12:59 CAT
PRESIDENT Michael Sata says the local government system in the country is very ineffective. Speaking at State House when he swore in members of the Local Government Service Commission yesterday, President Sata said the country could not see the impact of government because local government was dead.
"I will not hesitate dissolving you again if you can't function. Today, we cannot see the impact of government because local government is dead, all you need is to get out of State House, drive through Chilenje you will see how tall the grass is and yet you have a local government, a very well paid local government in Lusaka," President Sata said.
President Sata urged the members of the Commission to move around the country and familiarise themselves with the operations of the councils.
"Don't just sit in Lusaka or in Ndola. Tour the whole country. Once they see you, that's how they are going to function. You tour the whole provinces and see for yourself what is happening in councils, not just make transfers and promotions from your office," he said.
President Sata said since the Commission operates on a full-time basis, they should also find ways of ensuring that councils survive on their own, instead of relying on government grants.
"The money, which is in superannuation fund, belongs to the workers of local government. There is so much corruption in the councils, allocation of land, you don't have houses… Mr Fredrick] Chiluba sold all the houses. When there were houses, councils survived on those houses but now you don't have houses so find means and ways of councils surviving on their own instead of relying on grants from government," he said.
Those sworn in include Steven Mushinge as chairman and Charles Mwandila as his vice, Maggie Kapihya, Bernard Simpokolwe, Dauti Phiri as members and Chipili Magayane as secretary.
And speaking to journalists after the swearing-in ceremony, local government minister Professor Nkandu Luo said she was confident that the team would shake up the councils.
Prof Luo said there was a lot of work that needed to be done to make the councils effective, among them attitude towards work and the human resource issues.