Sunday, June 23, 2024

Councils urged to come up with realistic budgets

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Local Government and Rural Development Permanent Secretary, Maambo Hamaundu, has challenged councils to come up with realistic budgets that are also in line with the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).

Mr Hamaundu has also directed councils to intensify efforts on issues regarding enhanced sanitation and water reticulation as emphasised by President
Hakainde Hichilema.

He further directed the local authorities to ensure that they provide flushabletoilets in all public institutions that include hospitals, markets and bus stations.

Mr Hamaundu was speaking in Kitwe today when he opened the 2023 budget for local authorities from Copperbelt, Luapula and North-western provinces. He said councils should ensure that all public institutions have flushable toilets by the end of 2024.

“We should change the current narrative where people say councils are just good at attending meetings but are poor at service delivery,” he said.

And Mr Hamaundu has challenged councils, especially those in urban areas to be more pragmatic on solid waste management to avoid cholera outbreaks.

He said local authorities should plan well on how they will manage solid waste in view of the onset of the rain season.

The Local Government Permanent Secretary also challenged local authorities to be practical in revenue collection.

“Budgets should not be mere talk-shows but they should be implemented as planned, let us be more pragmatic when it comes to revenue
collections and budget execution, let us also ensure speedy and efficient execution of CDF programmes,” he said.

He further said he expects to see improved service delivery from all the 166 local authorities across the country following the training that council
officers have received from the ministry.

Earlier, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Internal Auditor, Jethro Mubanga, said the meeting for the councils will help them come up with realistic budgets that will ensure effective service delivery in local authorities.

Mr. Mubanga said the meeting would provide guidance to ensure budgets that answer to issues of debt management, strengthening revenue management and ensuring maximum impact on service delivery.

“Budget meetings are a legal requirement, as such we should give it much seriousness as it allows for peer learning and enables promotion of effective budgets that will steer effective service delivery.

The meeting was attended by council management teams from Luapula, North-Western and Copperbelt provinces.

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