Lo­cal govern­ment and the cul­ture of peace

Sunday Express - - HAVE YOUR SAY -

ers to hi­jack / di­vert lo­cally ded­i­cated re­source, ma­te­ri­als and equipment to their own lo­cal­i­ties, e.g in­fra­struc­ture and util­i­ties in­stal­la­tions.

At an­other level the dis­trict coun­cils, which are sup­posed to be apex and fu­sion of all ex­pres­sions of self-govern­ment at the lo­cal level, were cited as of­ten spend­ing monies on its own pri­or­i­ties at the ex­pense of the lo­cal coun­cils’ pri­or­i­ties.

Re­source star­va­tion lead­ing to to­keni­sa­tion of the coun­cils, cam­paign lies and un­ful­filled prom­ises, un­re­spon­sive­ness of the coun­cils; nepo­tism and favouritism in re­cruit­ment and op­por­tu­ni­ties like bur­saries, etc. were de­press­ing lo­cal govern­ment spirit in com­mu­ni­ties and needed root­ing out.

The chiefs’ fo­rums threw up broadly the same con­cerns, while high­light­ing how lo­cal govern­ment could be turned into an op­por­tu­nity for tack­ling th­ese chal­lenges.

It was noted that sadly the in­cep­tion or return of lo­cal govern­ment (the first such form of govern­ment goes back to colo­nial times in 1960) un­der the coun­try’s “sec­ond democ­racy” in 1997 took place un­der a canopy of in­tense po­lit­i­cal con­flicts (which could only ex­press it­self most trag­i­cally in 1998), and it was widely touted by the rulers as a re­place­ment of an im­posed” hered­i­tary rule of the chiefs with rule by elected peo­ple’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives and con­sol­i­da­tion of democ­racy.

The fric­tion that fol­lowed led to in­tra­coun­cil ten­sions and clashes be­tween the chiefs and the coun­cils; which were dif­fused with a de­lib­er­ate in­ter­ven­tion of the NGOS to pro­vide train­ing on the func­tions of the coun­cils, roles of elected and

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