STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
DEPUTY secretary to Cabinet Peter Kasanda says the Patriotic Front (PF) administration values the role civil society organisations (CSOs) and other non-state actors play in complementing its efforts to achieve decentralisation.
Mr Kasanda said on Thursday at an orientation meeting for CSOs that decentralisation will hold Government fully accountable on developmental programmes and the use of public resources.
â€œIndeed, the PF government values such relationships with CSOs, and for me, this is a clear manifestation of a progressive relationship that will foster development in our nation,â€ he said.
Mr Kasanda said decentralisation will bring political stability by active participation of the local people in development activities and in politics through voting and other governance practices such as civic education, which strengthens democratic accountability.
In addition, it will make Government more responsive to the electorate because local representatives will be better placed to know the nature of local needs and how they can be addressed in a cost-effective manner.
â€œLocally, specified plans will be tailor-made for local areas using detailed and up-to-date information. Field level personnel will be enhanced when they have greater responsibility for the programmes they manage,â€ Mr Kasanda said.
He said Cabinet office will provide leadership and direction to the facilitation, devolving and receiving institutions on the implementation of the national decentralisation policy.
â€œIn this regard, stakeholders such as yourselves, are called upon to take keen interest in the implementation of the policy by taking deliberate steps to ensure that your work and reporting is centred around decentralisation whose benefits accrue to all individuals regardless of political affiliation, cultural and economic status or indeed gender,â€ Mr Kasanda said.
He urged CSOs to join hands with Government to ensure that the complex reforms of decentralisation are implemented to achieve the vision and objectives set in the policy.
STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka