Local government and the culture of peace
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