Local government minister Ben Tetamashimba (l), Finance deputy minister Chileshe Kapwepwe (c) and Germany envoy to Zambia Irene Hinrichsen (r) at the launch of the German support to decentralization policy
Local government minister Ben Tetamashimba (l), Finance deputy minister Chileshe Kapwepwe (c) and Germany envoy to Zambia Irene Hinrichsen (r) at the launch of the German support to decentralization policy
Government, in collaboration with the Germany

government, has launched the Decentralization and
Implementation Programme (DIP).

Local Government and Housing Minister, Benny Tetamashimba said the launch was in line with government’s vision to achieve a fully decentralized system of government.

Mr. Tetamashimba said the overall goal of the DIP was to implement and operationalise the National Decentralisation Policy (NDP), which government adopted in 2002 in order to improve service delivery.

He said government, through the NDP, is working to help local authorities to increase their levels of accountability and transparency in the use of local resources.

He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensure that decentralisation implementation is approved this year because it would expedite the process of decentralisation.

Mr. Tetamashimba said decentralization was very beneficial to the community, adding that his ministry has been carrying out sensitization workshops on the same programme.

He said there was need to engage Permanent Secretaries (PS) of all sector ministries in sensitization meetings for them to support their ministers in the decentralization implementation.

Mr. Tetamashimba said his ministry was also in the process of developing capacity building programmes to prepare the councils for the full devolution of the functions from the local government.

He also said the Ministry of Local Government was working out a strategy in order to achieve fiscal decentralization and revenue mobilisation.

Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane said the long term vision of government is to achieve a fully decentralized and democratically elected system of governance.

Dr. Musokotwane said in a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy, Chileshe Kapwepwe, that for government to have a fully fledged decentralisation system, there must be an open, predictable and transparent decision making and implementation processes at all levels of the public service.

He said there was need to empower the local communities by devolving decision making authority, functions and resources from the central government to lower levels.

He said this would improve efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services.

Mr. Tetamashimba said this was a key prerequisite for initiating the devolution process aimed at enhancing financial management and accountability in the local authority.

The minister said devolution could only succeed when the local authorities have been empowered with human, financial and technical resources to enable them provide responsible public service.

He added that government’s ability to deliver essential public services to citizens across the country can be increased by fully utilising the local implementation capacities.

Meanwhile, Germany Technical Zambia (GTZ) Country Director, Robert Kressirer said the aim of the programme is to improve service delivery at sub-national levels.

Mr. Kressirer said the launch of the programme was very timely adding that it would go very long way in moving the decentralization agenda forward.

He said the focus of the programme would be to work with the councils in several thematic areas.

He said the Germany government would work closely with the two ministries in assisting the central government to develop and implement a comprehensive capacity building programme for local authorities.

ZANIS/AJN/KSH/ENDS

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27 COMMENTS

  1. About time now we want to see results once fully in place you cannot always wait for lusaka to solve a local problem

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    • Ba C.I.A., other nations like Tanzania and Malawi have done this and from information i read these nations came to look at our documents on decentralisation, improved on them and implemented while us that started before them are justing talking but not doing. Hope this time our leaders are serious. Lets wait & see

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    • Better yet, step up and make it happen. Read about decentralisation, what the pitfalls are, what the possibilities are, previous examples, etc., so we can all be part of a highly informed discussion and engage councillers and ministers and get the policies we want.

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  2. GTZ has been a partner for many years and have been involved in many capacity building programmes in the country ,i just hope TETA can learn something.

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  3. Tell me whatbis the true meaning of decentraliizatoin? When KK introduced this policy all we saw more power given to UNIP cadres at District(Munucipal/City)level and thats when councils started to collapse country wide.

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    • But are our people the right one to implement this? Like everything else we ve had expert assistance which we have messed up like NCZ. Kafue?

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    • That is where the problem starts. Still there is hope in the fact that experts need feed back so that they can see if the model is being implemented. We surely have a long way to go but there is no need to give up or get tired. Especially at the present time where the Internet helps to ease communication between the various government departments. One has to make use of the present technology. We can not be left behind.

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  4. This system can only work in developed countries where there are systems for checks and balances. There will be scenario where a Nurse is employed by a Local Council yet carrying out a function under the Ministry of Health. The immediate supervisor will be from the Council under the Ministry for LG. Supervision will be very difficult. If you want to see the complete death of the Local council in areas of service provision, Watch this space. Forget about this decentralisation and just fund the Councils adequately to enable them perfom their current functions efficiently.

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  5. Can we also ensure that for one stand as a Councilor, one should at least attain an acceptable level of education. The “I second” type of debate in our Council Chambers should come to an end if this decentralization is going to work. Otherwise its a good thing.

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    • true. the level of corporate awareness among councillors leaves much to be dedired. How do you expect a guy from the village to understand how a city should develop? On this one, I would agree with Maestro fimofimo…

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  6. If the government reduced the size of central government, and paid out 50% of national revenues directly to local councils, it would triple councils incomes. If they were constitutionally mandated to provide: education, healthcare, policing and utilities, then that would make universal access to those services possible; make government more responsive to the people’s needs; reduce the waste at the ministerial level. Now there is a role for the NCC – enshrine the rights and obligations of local councils in the constitution.

    That would completely transform the country.

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  7. What is new about this, we have done this before when MLGH was Ministry of Decentralisation, this time around the donors just want to have a say and determine the direction, Tetamashimba said his priority for the ministry was to reorganise markets (in other words build the cadres from there) and bus stations, (in other words, hand back Kulima tower to MMD cadres) so forget this DIP, we know where it will end up (shelf).

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    • I agreed with you entirely. Tetamanshimba is doing politics using GTZ. If GRZ were seriously about decentralisation they would not have to collude with GTZ who are a foreign donor IP. It’s all politicking. That guy was supposed to have completed the local governement service commission and not delayed mayoral elections to suit MMD cadres.

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  8. good one but why do we have to be told by foreigners. dont we have common sense on our own? and y has it taken so long?

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    • 1) Why do we have to be told by foreigners?

      Donor aid. This is why the government should be funded by tax revenues from the mines, not ‘donor aid’.

      2) Why so long?

      One of the reasons there is so little decentralisation is because in times of war, democracy loses out. Centralisation is about control, and I think the government was scared pre-independence by the Lumpina sect and the possibility of parts of the country declaring indepencence. And two, it is hard to decentralise decision making and be open about information if you can be invaded by South Africa or Rhodesia at any time.

      So war was a major obstacle to more democratic governance.

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  9. This policy should have been implemented yesterday BUT put the Local Government system in order before huge resources are disbursed to districts. Capacity build the Councils and ensure that the poor work attitude and lack of accountability are done away with. Do it fast

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