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.