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Siele Takes Bill to Chobe
06/02/12
Minister of Local Government, Peter Siele addresses Chobe District Full Council meeting on the Local Government Bill.

Following Parliament’s misgivings that enough consultations on the Local government Bill No. 13 of 2011 was not done, the minister and other senior ministry officials descended on Kasane and started where they left off in December.

Presenting the local Government Bill, No. 13 of 2011 to Chobe District recently, Hon. Minister Siele appraised the honourable house about the origins and the extent of consul¬tations of the Bill made thus far. “This Bill was tabled before Parliament for first reading on the 5th December 2011 and further referred to Ntlo ya Dikgosi for their input in accordance with the provisions of Section 88(2) of the constitution.

The Minister availed that Consultation is still ongoing and that it is very important to consult especially on matters like Bill that has a bearing on people’s lives. This, he said, Consultation is very key, one has to consult thoroughly on matters like this legislation that affects people directly.

The Bill has thus far been taken before council leadership on the August 2011 and so far about 53 villages have been consulted around the country including 12 councils between August and December 2011. It was after these consultations that gave birth to this new Bill No. 13 of 2011 which was publicized in October 2011.

The initial Local Government Bill No. 3 of 2011, which was debated at great length in parliament, came up with several recommendations which were considered. Hon. Siele briefed the House that it was after these lengthy discussions of the Bill that parliament resolved to adjourn debate on the 12th July for more consultations to take place, hence this gathering.

Several major issues arose from members of the house pertaining to the new Bill, especially clauses that deal with floor crossing by members, property rating of rural areas, dissolution of councils and declaration of financial interests by members. They felt the Bill is trampling on individual‘s fundamental rights and freedoms and openly pleaded with the Minister to re-look at those sections of the Bill.

The Local Government Bill’s main focus is attempted at consolidating the Local Government (District) Act, CAP 40:01 and the Townships Act, CAP 40:02 to have one Local Government Act that governs all councils, be it rural or urban. In the mean time, consultation continues.

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