Sunday, May 26, 2013

DC accuses Mazabuka council of being an

By Lemmy Likando in Mazabuka
Fri 24 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

MAZABUKA district commissioner Eugene Munyama has accused authorities at the municipal council of continuously frustrating government efforts aimed at uplifting people's living standards.

And the Patriotic Front in Mazabuka district says the municipal council in the area is not supporting the PF agenda aimed at delivering development to the people but was instead working against the ruling party and the government as a whole.

Munyama lamented that his office had noted with sadness the council's lack of communication with the government on how they were utilising funds released to them by the Treasury.

He charged that Mazabuka Municipal Council was at the moment working in isolation and was sidelining government departments, including his office, in as far as implementing government developmental projects in the district is concerned.

Munyama was speaking at his office on Wednesday when local government and housing deputy minister John Kufuna paid a courtesy call on him during his tour of government developmental projects in the district.

He observed that the council was currently operating in a vacuum and keeping secret public funds that the government was allocating to it, saying there was no transparency and accountability in the disbursement of such funds on the part of the local authority.

"This council is denying us an opportunity to know and follow closely on how the funds that are released by government and aimed at implementing various developmental projects in the area are being utilised because our friends from the council are failing to avail both government and other stakeholders such information," Munyama said in reference to the K2.8 billion (KR2.8 million) given to the council for the maintenance of township and feeder roads in the area.

The council has also been given K500 million (KR500,000) to put up streetlights in the country's biggest sugar producer.

Munyama also accused the local authority of coming up with a scheme within its ranks where all those that are seen to be aligning themselves with the ruling party had been recommended for transfers out of the council.

"We note with regret that our colleagues in the council have already kicked off the campaigns and are de-campaigning the party in government by making sure that officers that are aligning themselves to the ruling party are being recommended for transfers by senior management," he charged.

Munyama has since appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to consider dissolving the entire Mazabuka Municipal Council, saying the move would restore sanity and help the government deliver development in the district.

And Mazabuka district PF chairperson Gift Hanziba charged that the behavior by Mazabuka Municipal Council management clearly demonstrated that they were working for the opposition to frustrate any efforts that the government was putting in place to develop the area.

Hanziba, who accompanied the deputy minister on the tour of projects, asked the government to seriously reflect on the operations of the local authority.

"Honorable Deputy Minister, we have nothing against officials from the council but all we want is to see to it that money that is being released by government is put to good use. As a party, we realise that if things such as roads are not properly worked on despite releasing huge sums of money for such projects, our colleagues from the opposition will use such as a weapon to de-campaign us, a thing we won't tolerate," said Hanziba.

And Kufuna, who toured a stretch of the streetlighting project on the Great North Road, disclosed that his office would seriously consider the views expressed by Munyama and Hanziba.

Kufuna said the government would not tolerate individuals and organisations that deliberately want to frustrate its development agenda.

Acting Mazabuka town clerk Sampa Chiyengi earlier briefed Kufuna that the council was facing serious financial challenges resulting from a poor revenue base.

And in responding to concerns on the council's operations raised by Munyama and Hanziba, Chiyengi said the alleged lack of communication could have arisen from the absence of a public relations department, which had now been established at the council.

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