Government says it recognizes the critical role of local authorities as an engine of delivering services, infrastructure and development to communities.
Central Province Minister, Sydney Mushanga says this is why government has remained committed to promoting decentralization, democracy and good governance through local authorities and strengthening their financial capacities.
Mr. Mushanga stated that government will also strengthen the capacity of councils with respect to management and efficiency, resource mobilization and strategic planning for efficient service delivery.
The Provincial Minister was speaking yesterday in Kapiri Mposhi district during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a shopping plaza and hotel by Kapiri Mposhi Town Council.
He pledged government’s full support to the local authority for it to create realistic valuation rolls, charging of fair levies and licenses in order for it raise its revenue for service delivery.
Mr. Mushanga also told the council management that government was in the process of devising an appropriate formula for sharing national taxes collected within the jurisdiction of local authorities in order to strengthen their revenue base.
He therefore called on councilors to put behind their partisan politics and focus on their civic responsibilities of ensuring that services are provided to residents in their respective wards.
“This approach will enable you to provide efficient and effective services to your residents who have been receiving poor levels of services. Communities should also be allowed to have an input into decision making in the delivery of services in their communities,” he said.
He noted that the construction of the shopping plaza, which has been awarded to a Chinese firm, ZINCOR Investment Limited, will change the face of Kapiri -Mposhi town.
Mr. Mushanga also called on the construction company to employ local people during and after the construction phases in line with the Seventh National Development Plan of creating jobs for local people.
The construction of the shopping plaza and hotel is expected to take eight months.
Speaking earlier, Acting Kapiri Mposhi District Council Chairperson, John Mutambo, unveiled Zambia’s FIFA referee, Jan Sikazwe as Tourism Ambassador for Kapiri Mposhi.
And speaking in an interview with ZANIS, Mr. Sikazwe described his appointment as Tourism Ambassador for his home town as an honour.