The Local Government Service Commission has observed that the year 2020 has been the most consistent year in terms of disbursement of funds to councils by government.
Local Government Service Commission Chairperson, Amos Musonda explained that despite government being consistent in the disbursement of funds to councils, some local authorities decide not to utilize the money on time.
He disclosed that in some councils management have a tendency of not utilizing the funds on time as they opt to hold on to the money in the accounts.
“This year has been a consistent year in terms of disbursement of money to the councils but most of the councils do not utilities the money on time which is very sad,” he said.
ZANIS reports that the Commissioner was speaking in Petauke yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on Petauke District Commissioner Velenasi Moyo.
Mr Musonda told the DC that he was visiting so as to offer technical support to councils in three Districts of Lusangazi, Nyimba and Petauke.
He also observed that Petauke District Council has the potential to increase its revenue collection because most economic indicators appear to favour the district.
He however expressed disappointment that Petauke council was failing to be up to date with the payment of salaries to some of its workers despite the council collecting enough revenue.
“Most economic indicators are pointing to Petauke and your revenue collection is just okay, but I’m disappointed that you still struggle to pay your workers”, he said.
Mr Musonda urged local authorities to enhance their service delivery in order to Foster development in their respective districts.
The Commissioner also called for the need for local authorities to have a good working relationship with the office of the District Commissioners, his administration and the community at large if they are to realize efficient and effective service delivery.
Meanwhile Mr Musonda advised that it was not a criminal offense to allow community members to scrutinize the operations of the council because they have the right to know how the local authority is operating as that would lessen members of the community suspecting the councils of misdeeds.
He added that 85 percent of disciplinary actions that happened at Petauke District Council were due to revenue loss related cases, adding that the Commission would continue to monitor the councils so that officers begin to adhere to conditions of service.
He also gave a two week ultimatum to authorities at Petauke District Council to ensure they proceed in dealing with erring officers with pending disciplinary cases.
He further advised against transferring officers facing disciplinary cases to other districts as doing so would not solve the problem.
The Commissioner also urged authorities in the councils to stay away from active politics and concentrate on developmental projects.
“Any person trying to frustrate government efforts in areas of development will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.
And Petauke District Commissioner, Velenasi Moyo said her officer was coordinating well with the local authority.
She however appealed to the commissioner to lobby for increased equalization fund so that the money can be enough to attend to most developmental projects in the area.
“We have a sound working relationship with the council and we work hand in hand to develop this area, but what we can ask for is for government to increase the equalization fund so that it suffice to attending to developmental projects,” she said.