STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
THE Ministry of Local Government and Housing will soon set out guidelines to all local authorities for the implementation of by-laws aimed at increasing revenue collection.
Permanent secretary Misheck Lungu said in an interview yesterday that following a presidential directive to all councils to implement their statutes on levies, there is need to put in place guidelines.
â€œAs a ministry, we will provide leadership. We will put in place guidelines to all councils to avoid haphazard implementation of by-laws,â€ Mr Lungu said.
He said there would be anarchy in the country if councils started implementing by-laws without following procedure.
â€œWe will ensure that by-laws donâ€™t injure our people. The President has made it clear that any council working against Government will be disowned,â€ Mr Lungu said.
He said councils now have an opportunity to serve communities better through enforcement of levies.
â€œThose are by-laws and the President has spoken clearly that he wants service delivery,â€ he said.
And Kitwe mayor Kelvin Sinyangwe says President Lunguâ€™s directive to councils to enforce levies will boost the coffers of local authorities, MWILA NTAMBI reports from Kitwe.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Sinyangwe said the directive by President Lungu is a wake-up call for councils.
He observed that a lot of councils, especially those in rural areas, have been facing a lot of financial challenges because of previous political pronouncements against council levies, including crop levy.
â€œYou know the lack of implementation of these by-laws really negatively affected operations of councils. As we speak today, some councils cannot even afford to pay allowances to councillors because they are constrained financially. In the past, political pronouncements were made but they were not backed legally,â€ Mr Sinyangwe said.
During the opening of the Fifth Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) annual conference on Monday, President Lungu urged local authorities to implement their statutes on levies to increase their revenue.
President Lungu assured councils that central government would not interfere in their legitimate functions of formulating by-laws that include taxes, levies and other revenue-generating measures.
STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka