Local Autonomy and Central Control in Zambian Urban Authorities
Pelekamoyo, George Mizaeli
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This dissertation studies the nature of local government in Commonwealth Africa as reflected in Zambian urban authorities. In particular, it examines central control and local authority functions; sources of revenue and central control;and control over manpower. These are some of the main issues that shape the relationship between central government and local authorities.The existence of government ministries and local authorities, each having statutory powers, often dealing with the same matters, results inevitably in both co-operation and conflict.This is reflected in the three case studies in Chapters IV, VI and VIII.Chapter I discusses the term "local government" and the different patterns of local government and their characteristics. The chapter reflects the fact that local government in Commonwealth Africa is based on the British system of local government and Zambia is, therefore, no exception. Chapter II and Appendix A deal with local government's place in Zambia, its development, duties, structure and its relationship to the Party, government and other institutions.Chapter III discusses various views of local authority autonomy and central government control over local authorities, with chapter IV illustrating the problem of central control over local authorities by examining the 1972 Rent Act, Chapter V and Appendix B deal with sources of revenue and central control. It suggests that central control over sources of revenue is one of the main factors that determine how well local authorities can perform their functions. Chapter VI on the Headlease system illustrates this point.Chapter VII discusses recruitment of staff and government control in this respect. The chapter raises a point that without the required professional personnel coupled with rigid control by the Government over locsil authorities in the recruitment of required staff, local authorities can hardly perform their functions well;and chapter VIII on the recruitment panel demonstrates this point,Material for this dissertation has been ccllected from published and unpublished articles, books, files from various organisations,the Laws of Zambia, Parliamentary Hansards,local newspapers, speeches made by leaders of the Party and Government, and intervieviTs of a wide variety of people.The position of the writer, as Town Clerk of the Lusaka City Council, enabled him to carry out interviews with the top leadership of both the Party and Government as he is always in close contact with them in the course of performing his duties.Those interviewed in respect of this dissertation included Members of the Central Committee of the Party, Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Members of Parliament, Mayors, Councillors, Town Clerks and many other persons.The interviews strengthen the discussions in this dissertation.