Okello 1990 focuses on the need for district councils to have financial

Okello 1990 focuses on the need for district councils

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Okello (1990) focuses on the need for district councils to have financial resources for effective and efficient performance but does not examine the soundness of financial administration in the district councils. Moreover, whereas he identifies the main sources of revenue, he does not indicate the extent to which the council actually collects revenue from these sources. In spite of these observations, Okello’s work helped to broaden the understanding of the emergence or origins of the current major sources of revenue for LCC by giving a historical background of the same from as early as 1968. In this regard, this study is expected to fill-in the gaps identified in Okello’s work as well as provide up-date information on this subject. According to Chongwe (1994), people’s participation in public affairs in their respective countries is amply demonstrated in the management and governance of local councils. The local councils typify the grassroots representation of the people in any given country. Therefore, if government of the people, by the people, and for the people is to be achieved, it will be at the local government level, where every adult is afforded an opportunity to participate in public affairs. Without participation at the local level, there can be no democracy at the national level. People’s power and participation are fundamentally related to local government. In the case of Zambia, the Local Government Act of 1991 recreated and strengthened the desire of the Zambian people to exercise their universal franchise in local government. The major problems facing local government in Zambia, however, can be attributed to either poor funding or poor management. Adequate financing and, qualified and skilled personnel are the keys to successful management of any organization. The success of a district council will depend, to
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27 a large extent, on the finances available to assist in undertaking development projects in its area of operation and on having competent personnel responsible for carrying out local government policies effectively. Chongwe (1994) identifies major sources of council revenue as: property rates; personal levy; water and sewerage charges (now a responsibility of LWSC); rent, fees and levies; income from commercial undertakings; loans for capital projects; and grants or intergovernmental transfers. He argues that the financing of local government in Zambia raises issues regarding the system which are a matter of concern within the echelons of local government officials. Some arising questions are: Should the national government disburse intergovernmental transfers to all or only some of the councils? What mechanism should be in place for ensuring the effectiveness of revenue sharing with the national government? What local revenue base is available to local government, and how can this be developed?
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