Provincial Task Forces Key To Devolution Success — Nswana

Decentralisation Secretariat Assistant Director Dr Movens Nswana says the success or failure of the devolution of functions to local authorities will be determined by the effectiveness of the provincial devolution task forces that have been constituted.

Dr Nswana said this when the nine-member Muchinga Provincial Devolution Taskforce was being oriented to the sector devolution tracking tool.

The sector devolution tracking tool has been developed with the technical assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Local Impact Project.

The tool will assist in the strategic monitoring of various facets of sector devolution and empower stakeholders to promptly identify hurdles and accomplishments to ensure prompt decision-making that will enhance devolution performance in local authorities.

Dr Nswana stated that so far over 36,000 employees under the seven functions that have been devolved to local authorities have started receiving their letters to start reporting to council secretaries and town clerks.

“All the officers at the district level must cease reporting to the District Commissioners—all heads of departments of devolved functions must start reporting to the council secretaries and town clerks,” he said.

He also disclosed that budgetary allocations for devolved functions will no longer go to line ministries and departments, but will be channelled to the local authorities that have currently opened accounts for handling such funds.

“Therefore, if there will be any problem of decentralisation and devolution in Muchinga, the issue will be with you the provincial devolution taskforce,” Dr Nswana said.

The Decentralisation Assistant Director urged the provincial devolution taskforce in Muchinga to start questioning why there is low performance of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in some councils.

“Question why some councils have low CDF performance and why others are doing well and pick lessons from those performing to replicate them to low performers,” he said.

In Muchinga Province, Mpika Town Council and Chinsali Municipal Council have been picked to pilot the sector devolution tracking tool with the facilitation of the USAID-supported Local Government Impact Project.