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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Is more money to councils the answer to local problems?

President Michael Sata recently made a rather radical proposal that has not garnered much debate :

"OUR GOVERNMENT WILL ALSO DEVISE AN APPROPRIATE FORMULA FOR SHARING NATIONAL TAXES COLLECTED AT THE CENTRE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF EVERY LOCAL AUTHORITY IN ORDER TO STRENGTHEN THEIR REVENUE BASE".

This could be quite revolutionary, depending on the formula devised. But it also raises big questions in relation to the effectiveness of the local councils to handle greater revenue. There are issues around local politics and the scourge of corruption.

What is your view on this proposal? How should national revenues be divided? What dangers need to avoided, and how?

A sample of responses from "properly identified persons" will be published under our  Readers Weekly column..

Those on Facebook can leave their comments here.

3 comments:

  1. This is a step in the right direction. Decentralization and empowerment of the local councils does not just deal with jurisdiction matters only but also financial independence of the local government. Revenue sources of the most councils were over taken by party politics. The separation of councils from political cadres. Now with this pronouncements and using local revenue to develop and provide local government services. Increased funding, from central government, each council would be required to submit a budget for the major projects and their deficit. This is how most local agencies can be sustained. Accountability and strict audit would ensure that revenue are applied to pertinent projects and curb corruption.

    The PF want to go ahead and implement even minor local administration at the village and ward level. This is a welcome move.

    Kunda MK.

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  2. Zambia needs a good decentralisation framework. We actually already have a very good one, it has just never been implemented since it was put together in 2006/7. So, what has been proposed is not anything new. What the President mentioned in his speech sounds similar to the intergovernmental fiscal relations policy that pertains in South Africa. This is a great system of non-partisan and non-tribal equitable distribution of resources based on poverty levels and population.

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  3. Interesting article on the MachaWorks model of community development: ctupdate.cta.int/en/Feature-Articles/Technology-retains-talent

    ReplyDelete

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