PS Amos Malupenga(Left) LGAZ) President Christopher Kang’ombe(second left),Chipata Mayor Sinoye Mwale(second right) during the second Local Authorities Financial Management workshop held at Chrismar hotel in Livingstone.Picture by KELVIN MUDENDA
MINISTRY of Local Government and Housing Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga has lashed out at Lusaka based civic leaders who boycotted the orientation workshop organised by his ministry.
Speaking when he officiated at the second Local Authorities Financial Management workshop held at Chrismar hotel in Livingstone, Mr Malupenga said he was disappointed that councilors from Lusaka shunned the orientation workshop in Lusaka because of salary concerns.
He called on Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) President Christopher Kang’ombe to intervene in the matter.
We were disappointed yesterday when we received information that a number of councilors particularly those from Lusaka shunned the orientation workshop because of the issue of councilors being on salaries has not been resolved.
“Am saying this taking advantage of the presence of the LGAZ President to see how they can seriously reflect on the national responsibility that they have. We all know that the bulk of councilors that we have are new and so the need for orientation can never be over emphasized,”Mr Malupenga said.
Mr Malupenga disclosed that Government would continue to offer supplementary support to local authorities.
“As you may be aware, the treasury allocated K717 million in the 2016 budget towards the establishment of a Local Government Equalisation Fund(LGEF) to provide a stable, buoyant and predictable source of revenue to supplement Local Government revenues.
“It is also anticipated that Government will yet again show the same level of commitment to provide more supplementary financial support to councils,” he said.
He however said it was disappointing that the Auditor General’s report had continued to highlight financial irregularities committed in local authorities.
Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) Chief Executive Officer Hapenga Kabeta called on local authorities in the country to develop strategic plans that would help guide interventions in their service delivery.
Mr Kabeta said strategic plans would attempt to address the opportunities and challenges faced by local authorities in resource mobilization and infrastructure development.
“Good financial management has an impact on how funding is used to address national and local priorities, the availability of resources for investment and the cost effectiveness of public services.
“The general public will have greater trust and confidence in their councils if there was strong financial stewardship, accountability,and transparency in the use of public funds,”Mr Kabeta said.
He said there was need for Government to make resources available to build strong financial management capacity in local authorities.
Speaking in a separate interview Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) President Christopher Kang’ombe has called on all councilors across the country to attend orientation workshops as his office engages Government on the issue of salaries for councilors.
“First of all I want to put it on record that the work of a councilor is vital, we need councilors because they are the first point of contact in terms of development.
“In our execution of duties as civic leaders we need to be prepared, oriented and the ministry needs to tailor a programme and a curriculum that will help civic leaders to deliver to the expectations of the people. Our position as LGAZ is that the issue of salaries will be addressed through various consultative forums,” he said.