The Local Government Association of Zambia’s commitment to public service is best expressed through its motto “in pursuit of quality service” which translates into making local government the strategic sphere of governance in social and economic development as well as in consolidating our democracy. The pages that follow in this annual report, demonstrate this commitment through various activities we undertook and the achievements we scored in 2014.

I assumed the presidency of this glorious organisation in June 2014 at an election held during the Extra-ordinary Meeting of the Annual Conference in fulfilment of the Association’s constitutional provisions. This placed me in a privileged position for which I was humbled and grateful considering the trust bestowed on me by my colleagues in the local government family. Much as this election was a privilege, it was also a challenge in that local government then, was at crossroads as a consequence of various historical factors ranging from inadequate financial and other necessary operational resources to lack of a supporting policy framework for the system.

It is our belief as the local government fraternity that local government is the sphere of the national governance structure that interacts closest with the grassroots. It is responsible for the provision of basic services and infrastructure which are essential in human development. It is the sphere which is better placed in ensuring growth and development of communities in a manner that enhances community participation and consequently ensures downward accountability. For this and other reasons, local government's core function needs to be understood as part of the functioning of the state which should be adequately resourced in order to meet its obligations and this explains the reason for the existence of the Local Government Association of Zambia as a lobby and advocacy organisation for and on behalf of all the 103 local government authorities in the country.

In pursuance of its lobby and advocacy strategy, the Association successfully engaged government which led to:

  • upward revision of Councillors’ sitting and transport allowances and for the first time, the introduction of a monthly allowance;
  • the introduction of the Local Government Equalisation Fund; and
  • the implementation of the National Decentralisation Policy through Cabinet Circular No 10 of 2014 which activated the implementation plan as from 1st January 2015.

The other lobby area over which government was engaged was the need to ratify and domesticate the African Charter on Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Govern- ance and Local Development which hitherto, was adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union during the 23rd Ordinary Session Summit held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in June 2014. The main objective of the Charter, inter alia, is to promote, protect and act as a catalyst for decentralisation, local governance and local development in Africa.

The achievements scored are the sum total of the input from the entire membership of the Association through their respective Provincial Committees. Accordingly, let me thank all the Provincial Vice Presidents for the support accorded me during the period under review. The input from these committees was vital to legitimize the strong voice of the Local Government Association of Zambia. Similarly, I would like to express my singular gratitude to the secretariat of the Association led by the Executive Secretary, Mr. Maurice Mbolela, a renowned personality in local government circles, for the professional and competent manner they have managed the affairs of the Association. During the period under review, I found the men and women in the Association’s secretariat to be committed and passionate with their work, qualities which greatly contributed to our collective achievements. It is my hope and trust that the Association will continue to benefit from their wide experience and knowledge of local government. Further, let me sincerely thank our cooperating partners who supported some of our activities in 2014 and these are GIZ and UNDP.

I should not forget to recognise and appreciate the cordial relations the Association enjoyed with the National Assembly through its various Committees and Government through Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Indeed, life is a journey. The path we chose to take and what we look back on as well what we look forward to, determines our future. Let the account of the Association’s performance in 2014, as contained in this Annual Report, be the source of inspiration in making the Local Government Association of Zambia, a truly strong voice for local government in the country.