The Local government association of Zambia has defended the call by newly elected Councilliors nationwide to demand for a salary.
Minister of Local government and Housing Vincent Mwale has declared that elected mayors and chairpersons of councils across the country will not be regarded as executive officials.
But Association president Christopher Kang’ombe has told 5fm radio in an emailed statement that determination of emoluments for the office of Councillor should be commensurate with the wide political, Civic and Community responsibilities.
Mr. Kang’ombe says according to their interpretation of Constitutional provisions, elected Councillors like other public officers like judges shall be paid a salary and not an allowance.
He is hopeful that an appropriate amount will be agreed upon as a Councillors’ salary and not the current allowance of 700 kwacha per month saying it does not motivate Civic leaders.
Under the devolved system of governance, a Councillor has assumed added responsibilities and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Ward Development Committee which Mr. Kang’ombe says cannot be on a part time basis.
A Councillor, a Mayor/ Council chairperson and Member of Parliament are all elected on the same day and given a same five year mandate.
In the United Kingdom, a Councillor is no longer regarded as a voluntary worker but he or she is on a salary as a civic official this situation obtains in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.