Local Government an Avenue for Enhancing Local Democracy” says President Hakainde Hichilema

Josephine Kapinga
July 19, 2023

The President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Hakainde Hichilema has said that the new Dawn Administration is committed to strengthen LocalGovernment as an avenue for enhanced local democracy by enabling communities to participate in local development decision making processes.

The President said this when he graced the Joint 65th Local Government Association of Zambia(LGAZ) Annual Conference and the 18th Alliance of Mayors and Municipal LeadersInitiative for Community Action on AIDS At the Local Level (AMICAALL) GeneralAssembly held recently under the theme “Preparedness, Response and Recovery Strategies from COVID-19:Lessons for Local Authorities.”

President Hichilema further said that community participation in decision making and local development was one of his administration’s core values key in the successful implementation of decentralisation by devolution agenda as provided for in theRepublican Constitution.

He added that the focus is to ensure that local authorities served as catalysts for national development. He cited policy coordination failures and inconsistencies as some of the reason for local authorities’ inability to operate effectively.

“As per our 1st session of the 13th National Assembly address, we remain determined to facilitate a predictable and stable revenue base not only for central government but for local government as well,” he said.

The Head of State urged the local government fraternity to actively involve their communities in deciding on how resources, including CDF, are utilized. He emphasized the need to enhance accountability, transparency, and efficiency He added that the devolution agenda recognised and appreciated the role played by local authorities in responding to disasters and pandemics like COVID-19. In addition, President Hakainde expressed the need for inclusiveness by ensuring that the differently abled, women and youths are involved in development adding that there was a clear case for political parties to consider modalities that provided for the adoption of equal numbers of men and women candidates, while taking into account the youth and the differently abled.

He bemoaned the 8 percent women representation at local level and the 13 percent at Parliament level stating that there was need to strengthen women participation at all levels. He challenged political parties to develop modalities that provided for the adoption of equal numbers of men and women candidates, while taking into account the youth and the differently abled. The President observed that thePartnership for Municipal Innovation-Women in Local Leadership (PMI-WILL)project being implemented by LGAZ was one of the interventions key in facilitating engagements with political parties on the issue of women participation in politics.

The President recognised and commended local authorities for their role in responding to not only disasters but pandemics such as COVID-19. He called for collaborative efforts with both development partners and the private sector in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President also commended LGAZ for actively working with the private sector to support local authorities’ response to the COVID-19 and other developmental issues of common interest. He further on recognised and appreciated the support from the GermanGovernment and USA through their respective development agencies, GIZ, andUSAID which led to the establishment of the COVID-19 Advisory Centre for local authorities during the period August 2020 and October 2021.

He affirmed his administration’s resolve to strengthen the local governance sector and to actualize the provisions of the Constitution on decentralisation by devolution

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