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Zambian Scribes resolve to raise awareness on Local Government and Decentralisation

Zambian Scribes resolve to raise awareness on Local Government and Decentralisation

December 10
21:58 2018

By Derrick Sinjela at Mika Convention Centre, Chongwe, Lusaka Province

Members of ‘The Zambian Press’ both private and public media practitioners have resolved to proactively sensitize the public on the importance of local government and decentralization as a development anchor throughout Zambia’s 10 (ten) provinces namely;  Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Muchinga, Northern North-Western, Southern and Western.

The Zambia electronic and print media journalists made this resolution during a two-day media orientation workshop on Local Government and Decentralisation held from 6 th to 7th December 2018 at Mika Convention Centre, Chongwe, Lusaka Province.

Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) Information Officer Ms. Mpatanji Namumba expressed delight on account of media practitioners viewing local government as an important sphere in the governance structure.

LGAZ at Mika Convention Centre group picture y Derrick Sinjela

The public deserved to be well-informed on the operations local government to make meaningful contributions in matters affecting them at this level. Decentralisation is key in realizing peoples’ aspirations as it provides communities an opportunity to champion their individual and collective destiny. Members of public must take keen interest in what is happening in localities for them to shape a desired type of local government and decentralisation they desired,” read a pledge circulated in Lusaka on Saturday 8th December 2018 by Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) Information Officer Ms. Mpatanji Namumba.

The Local Government and Decentralisation workshop attracted 16 media house representatives from under auspices of the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government (MLG) and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF).

During the official opening of the workshop, LGAZ Executive Secretary Maurice Mbolela said that the workshop was a starting point for the Association and its member local authorities to sensitize the public on the role that local government played in bettering their livelihoods.

LGAZ at Mika Convention Centre

“This interaction is meant to equip media practitioners with appropriate understanding of local government and decentralization.  The Local Government Association of Zambia, the Ministry of Local Government and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum remain convinced that this role to enhance citizen participation can only be achieved through partnership with the media,” implored Mr. Mbolela.

Proposing a vote of thanks, Jeff Kapembwa, a freelance Journalist thanked the Association and its partners for acknowledging the important role the media played in local governance.

“As media practitioners, we provide an important link with the people. We want to transmit balanced information on local government and decentralisation without leaving anyone behind,” Mr. Jeff Kapembwa said.

Jeff Kapembwa, a freelance Journalist awarded certificates – Picture by Derrick Sinjela

The Local Government and Decentralisation workshop is one of the activities under the “Enhancing Local Government Capacity for Development” Project funded by the European Union (EU) and Co-financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The Local Government Association of Zambia was founded in 1947 as a voluntary membership organisation, then under the name, Local Government Association of Northern Rhodesia which later changed to Municipal Association of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi) in 1953.

This was the case since the two countries were part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland comprising Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (Malawi).

LGAZ Certificates

The Association was formed as the mouthpiece for local government authorities in the two countries. The name changed to Local Government Association of Zambia in 1964 upon Zambia attaining political independence.

Justin Nshimbi from ZNBC gets a certificate – Picture by Derrick Sinjela

LGAZ is a non-profit making organization registered under the Societies Act, Cap. 119 of The Laws of Zambia.

 Media personnel orientation workshop at Mika Convention Centre, Chongwe from 6th to 7th December 2018 Namumba on Media Engagement Mpatanji Namumba is Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) Information Officer

Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) President Christopher Kang’ombe

Vision

“A Strong National Voice and Advocate for Local Government”

Mission

“To protect and promote the interests and autonomy of local authorities in Zambia”

Objectives

To promote the interests and autonomy of local government authorities in Zambia;

To be the national advocate and voice of local government;
To contribute towards the enhancement of local democracy and governance;

To study questions concerning the life and activities of local government authorities and the welfare of citizens;

To promote the idea of popular participation in civic affairs.

Activities

To organize seminars, workshops or courses on local government;

To organize conferences and meetings;

To maintain a permanent office for the collation, documentation, study and dissemination of information for the benefit of local government in Zambia;

To make recommendations to government and to participate in the formulation and revision of government policies and legislation affecting the governance and management of local government authorities in Zambia;

To provide research and other advisory services and facilities to members in general and specifically on request;

To maintain a proper working relationship between constituent local authorities and the employees’ representative trade union;

To encourage and facilitate Municipal International Cooperation (MIC);

To carry out all other lawful activities for the furtherance of the objectives of the Association.

Guiding Principles

Client Centeredness

Participatory

Working in Partnerships

Committed to Quality Performance

Dedicated to Financial Integrity and Cost Effectiveness

Unity in Diversity

Inspired and Innovative

Membership

Membership of the Association is open to those who subscribe to the fundamental principles of democratic local self-government and to the objectives of the Association. Currently, there are three categories of membership which are:

Full membership

This is open, upon application, to all categories of local authorities in Zambia, concerned with the management of local affairs. Currently, all local government authorities in Zambia are members of the Association.

Associate Membership

This is open, upon application, to the following entities provided that they are concerned with or share common objectives with those of the Association:
Organisations
Institutions
Other bodies involved in and/or concerned with local government matters
Individual persons with interest in local government affairs and not in employment in any of the mentioned categories of members;
Supporting or contributing members such as private enterprises, foundations and other organisations interested in local government.

Honorary Membership

This is extended to persons who have rendered distinguished and conspicuous service towards the improvement of local government in Zambia.

Governing Bodies

The governing bodies of the Association are the Annual Conference, the Executive Committee, Provincial Committees and the Presidency.

The Annual Conference is the supreme policy making organ of the Association comprising the President, Vice Presidents, Honorary Treasurer, Provincial Coordinators and representatives from all the local authorities.

The Executive Committee ensures implementation of the objectives, policies and decisions of LGAZ generally as directed by the Annual Conference.

It terms of composition, this includes the President, the Provincial Vice Presidents, the Hon. Treasurer, the Provincial Coordinators, two representatives each from City and Municipal Councils and two representatives each from two District Councils from each province (on rotational basis).

The Presidency comprises the President, Provincial Vice Presidents and Honorary Treasurer. The Presidency makes policy decisions between meetings of the Annual Conference and the Executive Committee on matters that cannot reasonably wait for the next meetings of the Annual Conference and the Executive Committee within the policy guidelines of the Association’s Constitution.

The Provincial Committee exercises powers assigned to it by the Annual Conference through the Executive Committee and deals with matters necessary in the smooth running of the Association at provincial level. Members of the Provincial Committee are the Provincial Vice President, the Provincial Vice Chairperson, the Provincial Coordinator, the Vice Provincial Coordinator, the Provincial Honorary Treasurer, Chairpersons and Secretaries of Sub-Committees, two representatives each from constituent local authorities in the province and the Executive Secretary or his/her representative as ex-officio member.

It is at this level that the five sub – committees of the Association operate which are:

Finance and Economic Sub-Committee

Law, Research and Human Resources Sub-Committee

Environment, Health, Social Services, Gender and HIV/AIDS Sub-Committee

Engineering and Fire Services Sub-Committee

Development Planning Sub-Committee

ZANIS journalist Mwape Mulubwa gets LGAZ Certificates

Sub Committees consider and make recommendations on all matters relating to their respective subject matter. Each sub- committee comprises of representatives from all councils in respective Provinces made up as follows:

A Chairperson elected by the Provincial Committee from amongst serving Councilors from paid up Constituent Member Councils;

Members from the relevant professions related to the Sub-Committee from all paid up constituent Member Councils in the Province;

The Provincial Coordinator as ex-official member.

The Annual Conference, Executive Committee and Presidency are chaired by the President while the Provincial Committees are chaired by Provincial Vice Presidents with sub-committee Chairpersons chairing their respective sub-committees. These bodies are serviced by a full-time Secretariat, Provincial Coordinators and Secretaries of sub-committees.

Secretariat 

Cynthia Tamara Nkhata from News 24 gets her LGAZ Certificate

The Annual Conference, Executive Committee and the Presidency are serviced by a full time secretariat comprising the Executive Secretary/CEO, Programme Officer, Information Officer, Finance and Accounts Officer and the Research and Development Officer. Further, there is an Officer Assistant and the Driver. From time to time, the Association also benefits from Cooperating Partner’s Technical Support usually through secondment of an Advisor based on the needs on the ground.

The Provincial Committees are serviced by Provincial Coordinators while Sub Committees are serviced by Officers on a part time basis from respective Provinces.

Benefits

Oliver Chisenga from The Mast Newspaper LGAZ Certificates – Picture by Derrick Sinjela

Being a member of the Association has the following benefits:

Belonging to a countrywide network which is giving a voice and visibility to local government in Zambia;
Having an opportunity to influence government policies and programmes at local and national levels;
Contributing to and/or benefiting from the Association programmes and events
.

Finance

The Association derives its finances from membership fees, income from activities, grants, donations, loans etc. The fiscal year of the Association is January 1st to December 31st. The Executive Committee appoints Auditors every year to audit books of accounts for the Association.

    Networks

LGAZ at Mika Convention Centre group picture by Derrick Sinjela in Chongwe

The Association has established relations, links and networks with international organisations that pursue similar goals and objectives in developing and strengthening local self-government. Currently, the Association is a member of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) which focuses on local democracy in the Commonwealth member countries. It works to represent a collective voice for local government as well as to promote and strengthen democratic local government and service delivery across the Commonwealth and to encourage the exchange of best practices.

The Association is also a member of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) through the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) a world organisation of local governments which seeks to strengthen local governments, improve local democracy and governance and promote co-operation and consultation among local communities throughout the world. In addition, the Association maintains relations with various National Associations of Local Government in and outside Africa.

LGAZ with media people

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