Mazabuka on course with decentralization

 

THE devolution of management and administration of political, social and economic affairs of the State from the central government to the local government in Mazabuka district is progressing well, town clerk Wisdom Bwalya has said. In an interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Bwalya said the decentralization process going on in the country was encouraging. He said that Mazabuka had not been left out in the governance devolution process and that the local council had established subcommittees in wards to decide on major problems affecting the community to present to the council. Mr Bwalya encouraged collaboration between different stakeholders to ensure the devolution process was smooth and concluded on time. “The decentralization process, which calls for the devolution of management and administration of political, social and economic affairs of the State from the national government level to the local government level, is accelerating at a good pace in Mazabuka. ‘‘The process is going on well and the local council has established subcommittees in wards to decide on which major problems affecting the community to present to the council and handle different programmes on their own as well,” he said. Meanwhile, decentralisation secretariat director Alfred Sakwiya said that decentralization gave more powers to citizens to plan for their development and to participate in local decision-making.   Mr Sakwiya said central Government would set standards; provincial administration would monitor the implementation of those standards while local government would manage the devolved functions. Mr Sakwiya emphasised the need for media personnel to be knowledgeable about decentralization so that they could inform the general public accurately. He disclosed that the revised national decentralization policy Government had implemented in 2012 was accelerated when Government commenced the actual transfer of functions such as primary health care from ministries to councils with matching resources. Mr Sakwiya explained that the decentralization policy and its implementation was upheld and established through the enactment of the 2016 amended Constitution and that it involved the transfer of functions from the central Government to the local government level. He said that it was imperative for Government to move with speed and urgency on matters pertaining to the implementation of the decentralization policy. “The decentralization process, which calls for the devolution of management and administration of political, social and economic affairs of the State from the national Government level to the local government level, is accelerating at a good pace in Mazabuka. The process is going on well,” said Mr Sakwiya.

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