Lusaka Mayor, George Nyendwa has instructed officers from the devolved ministries to immediately report to the Town Clerk’s office following commencement of the Decentralisation Implementation Plan (DIP) of 2014-2017.
According to Cabinet Circular No. 10 of 2014, the Devolution exercise commenced on 1st January, 2015 and all the seven devolved functions from five ministries and two institutions are expected to report to the Councils for placement.
Councillor Nyendwa said the Town Clerk’s office has made necessary arrangements for officers devolved from other ministers to be re-assigned in the Lusaka City Council structure in line with the first phase of the Devolution exercise which is scheduled to run for three years (2015 – 2017).
“I am instructing all officers who have been devolved from other ministries to immediately report to the Town Clerk’s office because the Devolution exercise is already in effect,” Mayor Nyendwa said.
This is to ensure smooth transition of functions to the Council in the devolution process which will be based on a sector-wide phased approach over the initial implementation period.
The ministries and institutions in the initial phase of the DIP include the Disaster and Risk Reduction Management under the Office of the Vice President, Extension Services under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
Others are the Primary and Early Education as well as Adult Literacy under the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Childhood Education, Primary Health Care, Social Welfare and Community Development under the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health and Local Tourism and Cultural matters under the Ministry of Tourism and Arts.
The rest are Urban and Regional Planning under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and Community Management of HIV/AIDS and TB Programmes under the National HIV/AIDS/TB/STI/Council.
“I am happy that the fundamental objective of the Patriotic Front (PF) administration on the implementation of a decentralised system of governance is beginning to bear fruits.
The commitment to the policy of decentralisation is clearly sustained and affirmed in the Manifesto of the Party with the objective of maximising the Zambian population’s involvement in the planning of development, decision-making and the running of the government affairs that affect people’s lives on a day-to-day basis.
The PF Government realised the need to take power to the people by bringing in a decentralised system of governance. This is because Councils are the base for delivering public infrastructure and services to the people,” Mayor Nyendwa said.
“As Lusaka City Council, we are ready to absorb all the functions in the Devolution plan and arrangements have been made for officers to settle,” we the Mayor said.
The Mayor explained that the Devolution of Councils will bring with it great fiscal benefits as it will grant wider autonomy for Councils to operate more effieciently, adding that most of the functions in the Devolution exercise have the potential to generate fincial resources to the Council like was the case previously.
The Decentralisation Implementation Plan was first formulated in 2004, two years after the approval of the National Decentralisation Policy (NDP) in 2002, however, it was not until December 2009 that the DIP was finaly approved by Cabinet for full implementation.
The National Decentralisation Policy empowers provinces and districts to manage their own affairs for effective and social economic development.