By Fisho Mwale
In a country where leaders do not understand their roles, responsibilities and limitations breach of the law and over stepping of boundaries is the order of the day. A case in point is the reprimand of His Worship the Mayor Miles Sampa by Local Government Minister.
The minister has exposed his lack of knowledge and understanding of the local government administration and thus helping is not only a danger to the separation of functions between local government and central government but to the development of the local economy. The role of the minister is limited to policy formulation which ends at parliament enacting policy into law and local authorities are guided by section 61 of the local government Act which legislated policy to follow and not ministerial directives.
The minister has no power to order the Mayor of Lusaka because the Mayor is resident number 1 and the free man of the City of Lusaka. The President and his ministers live in rateable properties under the register of of Lusaka City Council thereby making the Mayor senior to the President the appointing authority of the minister. The Mayor of Lusaka can summon any resident of Lusaka including the President and can share his free man status with any fool he so desires. The Mayor of Lusaka is the custodian of standards and ethics within his area of jurisdiction. He is the first trader, brewer, minerals, baker, manufacturer etc in his area of jurisdiction and therefore, the only authority to issue licences to anyone who meets the mayor’s standards.
All those who are trading within the jurisdiction of the Mayor of Lusaka are actually agents of the Mayor trading on his behalf and when they fail the Mayor’s standard he has the right to withdraw the agency (licence )
In conclusion the minister has overstepped his boundary and therefore should withdraw his reprimand to the Mayor of Lusaka and apologise.
If I were the Mayor of Lusaka, I would discipline the minister using the instruments as provided for under the Local Government Act. Your Worship, power is not given it must be taken. Read the Law.