FDD says the K3,000 monthly salary for a councillor is a mockery and testament that the ruling PF does not understand and appreciate the function of local authorities in national development.
FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza on Saturday stated that those who did not understand and appreciate the role and function of local government to national development would be quick to applaud the PF for pegging the salaries of councillors at K3,000 from the current K700.
“If you look at the roles, responsibilities and functions of the councils, you will understand and appreciate why K3,000 monthly salary is a mockery. But before going any further, let me list the constitutional functions of local authorities. Below is a list of functions of the councils: Pollution control, building regulations, child-care facilities, electricity, fire fighting services, local tourism, district airports, aerodromes, district planning and district health services,” Mwanza stated.
Other responsibilities he mentioned included public transport, district public works, levies, tariffs and tolls.
“Other responsibilities are pontoons, ferries, jetties, piers and harbours, excluding the regulation of international and national shipping and matters related to storm water management systems in built-up areas, trading, water and sanitation services limited to potable water supply systems and domestic waste-water and sewage disposal systems, veterinary services, excluding regulation of the veterinary profession, vehicle licensing, abattoirs, among others,” Mwanza stated.
“Compare the work of councillors to that of MPs whose primary responsibility is to legislate, oversee and provide checks and balances on the executive, you will realise that councils have more work yet MPs get [more than] that K3,000 for shouting Hear Hear, Hear or for dosing in Parliament in two sessions.”
He stated that Zambians must understand that their pursuit for a decentralised governance system where power was devolved to the local authorities would never be attained as long as they continued to trivialise the work and authority of our councils.
“Someone may ask that, ‘Where will the money come from to pay all the councillors since the government doesn’t have money?’ The answer is simple: councils don’t have to depend on the consolidated fund for their salaries and programmes because they generate their own resources from levies, tariffs and tolls. The only challenge is that our councils are failing to generate enough revenue due to the fact that cadres have forcibly taken over the running and management of many council facilities and they’re pilfering and looting the money which should go to the councils,” stated Mwanza.
“What the government should do is to allow the local authorities to operate without any undue political pressure and manipulation and the councils will be able to generate enough revenues necessary for the service delivery and national development.”
Source: The Mast