Former Kitwe mayor, Patrick Tembo, says decentralization of governance in Zambia is farfetched due to central government’s alleged interference in the running of councils.
Tembo said in an interview with Zambia Monitor on Friday that the decentralization launched in 2002 by late President Levy Mwanawasa, 21 years down the line, had no effect as those in Lusaka still call the shots at district level.
“To me who was there when the decentralization was launched by President Mwanawasa, it is far-fetched because the central government needs to approve any decision made by the councils, things need to change if the country is to achieve decentralization,” he stated.
Tembo insisted that even the increase in Constituency Development Fund (CDF) would not propel decentralization, simply because decisions were still made by those in Lusaka.
He said even in the current CDF guidelines, the Minister of Local Government was mentioned in about 20 times.
“After projects are approved at constituency level, documents are sent to Lusaka where the decisions are made for cancel or approve,” Tembo said.
He argued that the continued political involvement in the running of government programmes was a drawback in attaining development.
He further suggested that policies requiring approval from the Minister of Local Government be reviewed so that the approval and initiation of projects be done at district or constituency level to facilitate decentralization.
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