From Northern Rhodesia to Zambia: Recollections of a DO/DC 1962-73

Appendix C

Structure of Government Administration at the Local Level
(Recommendations of the Constitutional Review Commission, 1995)

"Overwhelmingly, petitioners throughout the country wanted to see an effective well constituted local government structure, which is readily responsive to the needs of the people. The present structure in their view was totally ineffective.

They looked forward to a structure which would operate smoothly from province downwards to district level. Petitioners felt that in order for the needs of the people at the lowest level to be adequately addressed by the administration, there was a need to devise a clear, workable and dynamic administrative structure. For instance, they point out that there existed no competent office at the district level to co-ordinate government affairs. Thus the problems at grass roots could not be resolved or properly addressed.

Therefore the Commissioners recommended that, in addition to the office of the Assistant Minister for the province, the offices of the Provincial Commissioners be established with full powers and defined responsibilities aimed at yielding results. The Provincial Commissioner will be a senior civil servant appointed by the Civil Service Commission. He should co-ordinate the activities of all the Districts and Sub-Districts in the Province as well as linking the activities of the Provincial Government with those of Central Government.

The petitioners equally supported the idea of the office of District Commissioner at district level. There was universal agreement that the administrative power vacuum presently being experienced by the people at district level could be filled by the establishment of the office of the District Commissioner.

The Commission recommends the establishment of the office of the District Commissioner. As with the Provincial Commissioner, the District Commissioner should be a civil servant appointed by the Public Service Commission.

In order to fill the perceived power vacuum at the district level in the postOne- Party era, the Commission recommends that the functions of the District Commissioner should include the supervision of the general administration of the district and councils, as well as the co-ordination of government and civic activities as between district and province."

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