The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has escalated its initiative to decentralize its services to underserved regions, especially rural districts.
The RTSA Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Gladwell Banda has disclosed that the Agency has in the last ten (10) months devolved some of its road licensing functions such as payment of road tax and motor vehicle roadworthiness to eleven (11) local authorities across the country.
Mr. Banda said the RTSA is leveraging the presence and the role of local government authorities to provide greater reach and reduce the burden and cost of citizens accessing RTSA services.
“This initiative is meant to extend our footprint to districts without RTSA presence. We have commissioned selected RTSA services over the last ten months to eleven districts namely; Lundazi, Nyimba, Mbala, Mwense, Kafue, Luangwa, and Mumbwa. Others are Kapiri Mposhi, Mwinilunga, Kabompo and Kasempa. The RTSA will target to cover more underserved regions and during this period we also opened three RTSA offices in Petauke, Serenje, and Mokambo Border,” he said.
And Kasempa District Commissioner Chanda Mali has hailed the RTSA and Government for taking services closer to the people.
The trajectory of the decentralization programme is underpinned under the National Transport Policy through the Ministry of Transport and Communications and is in line with the Government’s Seventh National Development Plans (7NDP) and the Vision 2030 which is a long term plan that expresses the aspirations of the Zambian people to live in a dynamic and middle-income industrial nation that provides the well-being of all by harnessing opportunities for economic growth.
What a pity that the rural population has been left behind with economic progress, and don’t have cars, so those RTSA branches won’t have much work to do!
This move is long over due because in the past local councils used to act as agents issuing road licenses including firearm ones. If I recall late Sata was of the view that RTSA was unnecessary and wanted such services transferred to local authorities. One can imagine the trouble of travelling from Lundanzi to Chipata or Zambezi to Solwezi just to get a Road license or road fitness for motor vehicle. Though late at least services have been brought near the to the people.
Inclusive development-leaving no one behind theme can only became a reality by taking the services close to the community where citizens live. The presence of service can stimulate development and as such RTSA be commended for taking a lead in the decentralising their services.
Decentralisation is a constitutional matter and ALL local authorities preparedness should be reflected in their Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).
The constitutional reforms on local government that included executive City Mayors/Council secretary should drive devolution from many agencies too if they have to act as agents of the central government in local economic development activities that serves : health, education, roads, and business enterprises’ needs at the lowest community.
We can only hope…
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