Hope-Raising Legislation

The clock is ticking and those to be elected in the upcoming local elections in the country will witness a turnaround in both their status and functioning of their respective organs. In effect, a Presidential pen is what is needed now to translate into law the innovative General Code of Regional and Local authorities that heralds a lot of hopes for local governance in the country. 
Should the content of the document proposed by government and scrutinised in Parliament in the just-ended extra-ordinary session be upheld, then gone would be days when locally-elected officials did just anything and went away scot-free. Municipal councillors; regional councillors; city councillors; union board members; and members of local authority bodies representing traditional rulers and designated ex officio members will have a rendezvous with history to either right the wrongs of the past or face the music from across the board. Besides dignifying aspects like possibilities of members of the executive of local authorities being issued a service passport, wearing of protocol attributes and insignia, the rights to participation; a session allowance; training and information; health; protection; means of transport and travel as well as a right to a funeral, their responsibilities are such that failure will surely be very painful. Multifarious rights foretelling exceptional answerabilities as well. Understandably, to whom much is given, they say, much is expected too.
The law awaiting promulgation stipulates that, “The mayor, deputy mayors, the president, the first vice-president, the vice-presidents or members of the regional council executive shall devote themselves to the full exercise of their duties.” In fact, members of the executive of a local authority shall be bound to reside in the local authority’s headquarters and as the Code holds, the obligation of residency shall mean the urge to effectively reside in the territory of the local authority and the obligation to perform acts relating to the discharge of duties in the services and territory of the local authority. Should anything warrant him out of his municipality, the absence of an executive member from the territory of the local authority must be the subject of prior information to; the Governor of the Region, for members of the regional executive; the Senior Divisional Officer, for members of the council executive, and, in case of emergency, the Divisional Officer. An indication that hitherto laisser-faire could be checked. 
Specifying that in the discharge of his duties, the local elected official shall pursue the general interest, to the exclusion of any direct or indirect personal interest, or any particular interest and that local elected official shall perform his duties with impartiality, objectivity, diligence, dignity, probity, loyalty and integrity gives the population the record note to evaluate their elected officials.  More so as it shall be forbidden for the elected official, his spouse and his rightfu...



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