STEVEN MVULA, Parliament
MINISTER of Local Government and Housing Stephen Kampyongo yesterday told Parliament that the Patriotic Front (PF) administration will not relent in the fight against illegal land allocation.
â€œThe PF government will not tolerate any misconduct from either the councillors or council officials in the service delivery process. It is this type of illegality and abuse of office that has over the years led to the poor performance of local authorities,â€ Mr Kampyongo said.
He said this in a ministerial statement on the suspension of Kitwe, Ndola and Livingstone city councils.
Mr Kampyongo said his ministryâ€™s resolve against illegal practices and underperformance shall continue to be firm.
â€œThere will be no sacred cows in the fight against any evil vices such as corruption, abuse of office, laziness or direct theft of public resources,â€ he said.
Mr Kampyongo said his recent tour of the named councils revealed rampant illegal land allocation perpetuated by some of the elected councillors and officers from councils.
He said the act of illegal land allocation resulted in members of the public losing confidence in selected local authorities, a situation that Government could not allow to continue unabated.
â€œIn accordance with the Local Government Act, on January 22, 2016, I suspended Kitwe, Livingstone and Ndola city councils, respectively, to pave way for investigations into illegal land allocations.
â€œThe three councils were supposed to lead by example not only by conduct of councillors and officers but in service and adherence to laid down procedures on land allocations,â€ Mr Kampyongo said.
Local government administrators for the three councils have since been appointed to run the councils for an initial period of 90 days as investigations are under way.
And Mr Kampyongo said he was within the law to suspend the three councils.
He was responding to Monze Central member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu (UPND), who said the new constitution does not allow a minister of Local Government and Housing to suspend a local authority.
Mr Mwiimbu said the least the minister could have done was to report the three councils to the police.
But Mr Kampyongo said: â€œThere is no law in that constitution that prohibits me to suspend an erring council.â€
And Keembe MP Ronnie Shikapwasha (MMD) commended Mr Kampyongo for suspending the three councils, saying the move must be extended to councils that abuse constituency development fund.
STEVEN MVULA, Parliament