Thursday, September 05, 2013

Decentralisation policy launch cheers Saccord, ZCSD
By Abel Mboozi
Sat 10 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes and the Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) have welcomed the launch of the revised decentralisation policy by the government.

Saccord executive director Boniface Cheembe and ZCSD executive secretary Lewis Mwape said in a joint statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that the launch of the policy would help the nation refocus its attention on ensuring improved service delivery at local level.

Last month during the celebrations to mark 100 years of the City of Lusaka, President Michael Sata also launched the revised decentralisation policy.

Saccord and ZCSD noted that in the past years, it had been difficult for citizens to access basic services such as water, education, health and shelter among others, a situation largely due to the centralised system of government that does not promote citizen participation and easy access to basic services.

"Saccord and ZCSD are therefore hopeful that the Patriotic Front government would go beyond the political pronouncements of implementing the decentralisation policy, but ensure that these political pronouncements are implemented," the duo stated.

"This can be done if there is a clear implementation plan of the revised decentralisation policy which should be accompanied by adequate budgetary allocation."

They noted that since the PF proclaimed to be a pro-poor government, it should implement the revised policy as it would act as a means of reducing poverty in Zambia.

The duo stated that citizen participation was cardinal in ensuring that a country's development agenda is undertaken.

They stated that in addition, citizen participation in development enhanced accountability and transparency, thereby improving service delivery.

The duo stated that their organisation had also noted with concern that the 2013 budget, which would soon be concluded, had not yet seen the disbursement of Constituency Development Funds to all constituencies in the country.

They appealed to the government to ensure that the CDF is not disbursed
piecemeal as both rural and urban districts needed to implement projects under the fund before the expiry of the 2013 budget cycle.

"Late disbursement of CDF funds will lead to hasty implementation of projects at district level, which will result in poor quality works which will lead to not achieving intended objectives. This is something that we can avoid as a country so that we have quality works that are realised from CDF monies which helps to improve the quality of life of the citizens," the duo stated.

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