LOCAL Government Association of Zambia president Christopher Kang’ombe has urged councils to be innovative in their revenue collection interventions. Kang’ombe, who is also Kitwe Mayor, made this appeal during the executive committee meeting of the association held at Kansanshi Hotel in Solwezi yesterday. He said while the government was doing its part in funding local government through the Local Government Equalisation Fund as provided for in the Republican Constitution, there was need for councils to be innovative in enhancing their revenue bases.
“As councils, we need to maximise our collection efficiency from all the available own sources of revenue. However, given the magnitude of the local government mandate, government is obliged to fund local authorities in order to meet the deficit in service provision,” Kang’ombe said.
He also appealed to civic leaders to familiarise themselves with the tenets of their offices in order for them to serve their communities better and avoid unnecessary conflict. He said the association had developed the civic procedure and practice to assist mayors, council chairpersons, their deputies and principal officers understand the customs and procedures associated with their respective offices.
Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa has been making headlines for wrong reasons. In August, Sampa was a talk of the town when pictures of him brandishing a firm arm in public hit social media. As the dust was settling, Sampa was again in the news but this time it was over his refusal to pay a K700 bill for Food and beverages he consumed at Roan and Sable Café and Grill in Kabulonga. And three days ago, Sampa was at it again when he illegal left the instruments of the City throne to an ordinary council member contrary to provisions.
“As civic leaders, it is important that we serve our communities diligently as servants of the people without subjecting our offices to public ridicule. We have to understand the decision making process and other norms attached to our offices. We must appreciate that arbitrariness has no room in the public sector.”
Kang’ombe said there was need for civic leaders to clearly distinguish between decisions that could be made collectively and those that could be made individually. Kang’ombe also welcomed newly elected council chairpersons from Chilanga, Lumezi, Lusangazi, Chipangali, Chasefu and Kasenengwa and urged them to quickly familiarise themselves with operations of their offices.
The meeting attracted 42 councils from all parts of the country.