Lumezi Town Council Urges Government to Increase LGEF Allocation for Local Authorities

Lumezi Town Council has issued a call to the government, urging an increase in the Local Government Equalization Fund (LGEF) allocation to councils, in anticipation of upcoming organizational restructuring for Local Authorities. The appeal was made during a visit by the Local Government Service Commission’s Deputy Secretary in Charge of Corporate Services and Administration, Coreen Mvula.

Mr. Oliver Mwale, the Chairperson of Lumezi Town Council, emphasized the need for an enhanced LGEF allocation due to the anticipated restructuring that is likely to raise the wage bill for Town Councils. He voiced concerns that the current allocation might not suffice to cover increased personnel costs resulting from the restructuring process.

While acknowledging recent salary increases for council employees, Mr. Mwale highlighted the unchanged status of the Local Government Equalization Fund, which could potentially pose challenges in ensuring timely salary payments, particularly in the context of upcoming organization restructuring that will introduce new positions and higher salary scales.

“We want to call on government to consider increasing the grant allocation to the council in view of the new positions and staff that will come as a result of the restructured positions for Town Councils. This restructuring will increase our wage bill hence the need for an increased and timely grant allocation to councils,” Mr. Mwale stated.

Mr. Mwale commended the government’s consistency in disbursing the Local Government Equalization Fund, which has facilitated the Local Authority’s ability to meet salary obligations and carry out vital capital projects, such as the construction of the Civic Centre, market shelters, ablution blocks, and the procurement of motor vehicles.

The ongoing staff audit and strengthening of human resource records management exercise by the Local Government Service Commission aims to ensure that qualified personnel are in place to effectively manage the resources provided by the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) support. The Commission’s Deputy Secretary, Ms. Coreen Mvula, noted that the exercise is backed by the USAID Local Impact Governance Program and is currently underway in various provinces.

Ms. Mvula emphasized the importance of qualified human resources to handle the increased resources at Councils, aligning with the government’s policy of e-governance to transition towards digital records management in Local Authorities. The delegation from the commission also held engagement meetings with staff members, underlining the significance of the Records and Registry Department in the functioning of Councils.

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