Municipal Development Counselling (MUDEC) Group .:: MUDEC GROUP ::.
  • Our Mission

    • Reducing poverty in our municipalities through encouraging gender equality and increasing citizen (End User) participation in democratic and governance processes.

The Proactive Mayor

The Proactive Mayor

2013 to 2018

Discussion Paper during the General Assembly of Mayors & Government Delegates of the South West Region.

 

  •  Commissioned by:  The Executive of the UCCC / SWR.
  •  Presented on: 17th July 2015.
  •  Presented by:  Charlie MBONTEH, Team Leader – MUDEC Group, Buea. (Tel: 237 677 64 94 30 / 694 34 43 52)

email: mudecgroup@yahoo.com).

Introduction

The 2004 Law on Decentralization mandates Local Councils to foster development in their municipalities in several domains including: health, education, infrastructure, sports, leisure and culture.

The Law also allows for Collegial Management requiring Mayors and their Deputies to collaborate closely in performing their clearly defined roles.

The Prime Ministerial Decree no. 2008/0752 of 24th April 2008 clearly spells out the Attributes Delegated to Deputy Mayors. This decree reinforces the aspect of Collegial Management thereby not leaving things to the discretion of the Mayor.

Furthermore, as resources (human, material and financial) are being transferred from the Central Government to Local Councils, it is expected that the Council Management Team will work together to enable them accomplish their expanded responsibilities.

It is, therefore, necessary and mandatory for Council Managers to adopt a team spirit so as to involve all stakeholders in ensuring that there is effective and efficient use of scarce resources. It is within this orientation that this module is necessary for the training for municipal councilors.

Reflections for the South West Mayor / Government Delegate.

  • “Equality through Mentoring & not through Choice”
  • “Ideas not Ideology”
  • “Partnerships and not Partisanship”
  • “Actions happen when People Demand!!!”

Clarification of Basic Terms:

  • Manager (POSDCIR)
  • Administrator
  • Effective
  • Efficient
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Equity and Social Inclusion
  • Accountability and Transparency
  • Participation
  • Pertinence
  • Results
  • Effects
  • Impact
  • Governance “A value system of political nature and institution where society manages the economic, political issues using interaction between state, CSOs, private sector and other stakeholders” – UNDP.

Importance of Governance: “Good governance is the surest path to eradicate poverty and support development” – KOFI ANNAN.

“The first objective of Governance is to learn to live together, manage the community and assure conditions of survival, peace and equity between humanity and biosphere” – PIERCE CALAME

  1. I.  THE STATUTES OF THE  MAYOR:

The Office of Mayor:

Within the framework of the 2004 Law on Decentralization:

The Mayor is:

  • A Policy and Decision Maker
  • An Enabler
  • A Communicator
  • An Overseer
  • A Negotiator and Facilitator
  • A Power Broker
  • A Financier
  • An Institutional Builder

The Mayor is responsible for:

  • Taking measures designed to safeguard public morals and decency;
  • Taking all measures designed to embellish the built up areas of the Council;
  • Making appointments to Council posts.  However, the Supervisory Authority appoints Secretaries General of Councils;
  • Recruiting, administering and dismissing Council staff, under the control of the Supervisory Authority;
  • Taking measures to ensure order on Council roads;
  • Issuing permits for temporary occupation of streets and public squares and for temporary deposit of materials on the roads, rivers, harbours, river side and other public Council places, taking into consideration the need for these places to be used by the public;
  • Issuing building and alignment permits and authorizations relating to the public highway, in particular for piping under roads;
  • Ordering the demolition of any building erected contrary to town planning regulations or falling into ruin, when two months have passed without response to notice;
  • Representing the Council for public purposes;
  • Chairing the municipal Council and, therefore, responsible for order, and in this capacity may have any person disturbing public order expelled from the chamber or arrested;
  • Solemnizing marriages, and recording and certifying births and deaths:  She/he issues certificates of marriage, birth and death;
  • Preparing the Council budget and presenting it before the Councillors;
  • Authorizing expenditure;
  • Administering Council revenue;
  • Directing Council work;
  • Taking necessary measures for Council roads;
  • Drawing up annually a schedule of municipal road works, in collaboration with the local public works representative; the said schedule has to be submitted to the Supervisory Authority for approval when passed by the municipal Council;
  • Placing contracts, signing leases and letting work on tender in accordance with the legal procedure; etc.

NB: The Government Delegate performs all of the above roles but is also specifically assigned the role of organizing and managing the city services; a function that is not assigned to Mayors!

Background: Your Path to Mayor- Hood (pre October 2013):

Reflect a moment on what you were doing prior to September 2013?

How different is it presently in terms of your income, your daily contacts, inter-personal relationships, quality & quantity of friends, the value attributed to your signature?

The Run-up actions to the Municipal Elections of 2013?

And now that you are the Mayor………

What will you be doing as at December 2018?

We the Mayors (Advocacy & Lobbying beyond Political lines):

  •  The Status of a Mayor: Minimum Education / Qualification / Track Record & Achievements in Life / Ability & Desire to be Self-made /
  •  The Collective Good for Mayors: Remuneration (salary & fringe benefits).. Which criteria should be considered when making the decision? Are Mayors finalizing on a Draft Proposal to be tabled by the National Caucus to MINTD? Or are Mayors resigned to waiting for directives or be imposed by Yaounde?
  •  The Code of Ethics of Mayor-hood (Colleagues): Define criteria & benchmarks on which the performance of colleagues could be assessed. This should include grooming, dressing, language spoken in official circles…

The Office Holder: (Mayor Types)

No Type Characteristics Possible Fallouts
1 The Bully

 

Mayor, who utilizes coercion, hurts or frightens someone to get results.

 

> Others could remain calm / develop actions to fight back / embarrassingly.
2 The Doer

 

Mayor who gets actively involved in something rather than just thinking or talking about it >Encourages others.  >Motivates others.
3 The Clever One

 

Mayor who has the ability to understand and learn quickly and easily >Show by example. >Increases participation by soliciting ideas.
4 The Talkative

 

Mayor who talks a lot >Could easily encourage gossiping.

>Should make regular references to all applicable texts and related instruments.

5 The Introvert

 

Mayor who is quiet, shy and unable to make friends easily >Could easily be taken for granted by peers & collaborators.

> Secure relevant ideas before, during and after meetings.

6 The Skeptic

 

Mayor who doubts the truth or value of an idea or belief > Generally will resist ideas & feedback from colleagues and collaborators.

> Easily manipulated by hierarchy.

7 The Thick-skinned Mayor who feels that  his/her idea  is best > All tasks will be abandoned to self.

> Alternative views will ultimately be solicited.

8 The Untouchable Mayor who feels above the law (reckless behavior that could end in loss of lives and property) > Attracts hostility from population and observes Master – Subordinate relationship with Superiors.
9 The Cynic

 

Mayor  who believes that people are only interested in themselves and are not be trusted > Should be involved at every level of implementation.

> Could encourage ownership of the activity by others.

Temperaments of Mayors:

No Temperament Characteristics
1 SANGUINE: Positive,  Hopeful, Optimist
2 MELANCHOLIC: Usually sad without reasons  for extended periods
3 CHOLERIC: Easily Angry or Annoyed (Hot …)
4 PHLEGMATIC:

 

Someone who tends not to get excited or emotional about things

 The Mayor in the Council Milieu:

Management of Human / Financial / Material Resources:

Management of Political Party Directives

Management of Council Executives

Management of Councilors

Management of Council Staff

Management of Contracts & Contractors (Council & State).

Service Provision to all segments of society (Gender).

Characteristics for Effective Mayors:

  • Have Clear Objectives
  • Specify Clearly the Roles of each Member
  • Effective Communication
  • Clarify Ambiguities
  • Effective Decision Making
  • Ensure Balanced Participation
  • Give Value to  Divergent Views
  • Conflict Management
  • Encourage a Positive Atmosphere of Team Spirit
  • Emphasize Corporate Relationships
  • Encourage Participatory Leadership

 The Functional Mayor:

See Schema

Plan vs. Actual

Output / Productivity / Realizations (no of MD executed)

Managing Audiences / Time

Strategies for Performing Mayors:

a)   Hold Effective Weekly Meetings

b)  Serve Reminders to communicate ideas, activities, intentions, programs by use of Memos and Agendas

c)   Joint Planning and Effective distribution of Tasks (Action Planning for a given period).

It includes:  Activity, Responsibility, Deadline and Resources needed

  1. II. THE MAYOR & Government Technical Services (GTS):
  •  Managing the Supervisory Authority. (collective vs Individual)
  •  Negotiating with CEFAM / FEICOM / Public Contracts / PNDP in partnership
  •  Collaborating with Other Service Heads (Town Planning / Land Tenure / Public Health/ Youth / Sports / Culture)
  1. III.  THE MAYOR & RESOURCE MOBILIZATION:

The Mayor & Value Adding:

  • Fundraising
  • Twining
  • Local Employment especially for the local youth (Financial Institutions, Petrol Stations, General Labor..)
  • Info-Link

Material / Financial Resources (Synergies with Actors in Programs):

The PIB / the CDP (MITEF & AIP) / Vision 2035. (Municipality, Division, Region)

Linkages / Synergies  with other Elected Officials (MP/Senator)

Linkages / Synergies with Appointed Officials

Linkages / Synergies with other Development Organizations (GTS/Elites/SWELA/SWECC/SWECSON)

Information Gathering & Utilization:

MINADER Lobbying: (Request audience with the RD- MINADER)

100.000.000 FCFA from the European Union (EU) for value adding on Agricultural Production (2017 to 2019).

100.000.000 FCFA from the African Development Bank (ADB) for value adding on Agricultural products (2016 to 2018)

Conclusion:

The Mayor is the authorizing officer of the council budget, the first person responsible for the council and has to ensure the wellbeing of the citizens of the municipality. The Mayor is an agent of development and collaborates with development Institutions, the State and government while opening up to other authorities through efforts to twin with municipalities all over the world.

However, given that the Mayor is the reference amongst local elected representatives who is known by everyone, people are usually quick to blame him / her for issues that do not fall within his / her powers, or at least, contact him / her in relation thereto because he / she is the closest elected representative, the one “at hand”, the one people believe can always take action and intervene”.

Perspectives: 2013 to 2018???

Ladies  & Gentlemen, now reflect…Why you shouldn’t be a one-term Mayor….. Please do not ask this Resource Person!!!!

Succession Planning / Grooming / Positioning for your exit strategy OR “Apres moi cest le deluge?” …. Please excuse my French….

 Thank You for now!!!

 MUDEC Group: empower people such that they can hold their leaders accountable and responsible..

 UCCC on:   PARTNERSHIP … not … PARTYSANSHIP:

 INTRODUCTION

Inter-council cooperation was revived through the decentralization policy and its founding documents .the law of 2004 formed the legal framework, in particular law No .2004/017 of 22 July 2004(section 16) on the orientation of decentralization and law No. 2004/018 of 2 July 2004(section 131-143) on the rules applicable to councils. The latter gives a new impetus to the grouping of local Authorities, dubbed “inter-council cooperation and solidarity” in part VI.councils wishing to pull their efforts now have a legal framework that allows them to implement this development drive.

What is inter-council cooperation?

In the Cameroon context, inter-council cooperation refers to a process that enables councils to pool and manage together their human, material, financial resources to ensure optimal operation of a local service.

This may duel on household garbage disposal, water, sanitation, urban transport, designing of economic development projects/programmes, planning, urban planning, etc.

What are the forms of inter-council cooperation?

Council unions

According to section 134 of law No. 018 2004 laying down the rules applicable to councils, a council union shall be an inter-council public establishment (IPE) endowed with legal personality and administrative and financial autonomy.

Decentralized cooperation

According to Decree No.2011/1110/PM of 26th April laying down the procedures for decentralized cooperation, the latter shall mean any partnership relationship between two or more local authorities or their grouping, to achieve common objectives.

What are differences between council union and decentralized cooperation?

The main difference lies on the administrative territorial space for each of these forms of inter-council cooperation and solidarity.

Specificities of council union

A council union shall be a legal entity, more precisely a permanent body through which councils of the same division or the same region may come together with a view to realizing inter-council operations.

Specificities of decentralized cooperation

  • It shall not take into account the territoriality of the partners. This is clearly stated in Articles 2(2) of the Decree of 26 April 2011 according to which “Decentralized Cooperation can take place between Cameroon local authority or their groupings on the one hand and between them and foreign regional authorities on the other hand”;
  • It may be ad-hoc;
  • It shall not be based on an administrative structure.

Decentralized cooperation shall enable councils and their groupings to establish links outside their region and even their country

Points of convergence

However, there are a few similarities between the two mechanisms:

–         Realization of common development goals;

–         Commitment by agreement which is a form requirement for both decentralized cooperation and council union;

–         Prior authorization of deliberating organs.

Related concepts

Twining is a form of decentralized cooperation to enable Cameroonian and/or foreign councils to combine their efforts for the realization of projects of common interest.

The understanding is an administrative entity which may be formed by two or more divisions through their leaders to deliberate on issues of divisional interest for their both respective division .this form of cooperation is not  provided for in Cameroon and does not seem to be in use

The association is a grouping under private law governed in Cameroon by the law of 19 December 1990, established between persons (natural or legal) who decide to share their knowledge or activities on a permanent base for a purpose other than sharing profits.

  •  Stakes of inter-council cooperation and solidarity. It offers to councils numerous opportunities,inter alia:
    • Taking action and working more efficiently, despite the inadequate material and human resources, as well as their debt situation;
    • working together for a greater mobilization of financial resources and technical support from partners;
    • Enabling the most disadvantaged local authorities to benefit from the solidarity of others.
    • Interest of inter-council cooperation and solidarity: The main interest is the realization of savings and acquisition of more skills through capacity building.

Item 2: Principles of inter-council cooperation and solidarity

The autonomy of the councils could prove to be a major hindrance to the success of inter-council cooperation. It is therefore important to introduce principles that form the foundation governing sound inter-council cooperation, so that local authorities that commit themselves can use them to ensure the proper conduct of their commitments.

Experiences of inter-council cooperation are based on the principles of commitment, legality, fairness and solidarity, as well as exclusiveness and equality. In Cameroon in particular, the decree of 26 April laying down the procedures for decentralized cooperation Article 11 specifies that “The conclusion of a decentralized cooperation agreement must comply with the principles of equality, solidarity, reciprocity and continuity of personality of the parties”. It can reasonably be assumed that these principles should also govern inter-council cooperation and solidarity which is carried out through the establishment of a council, insofar as the goal is the same.

Cooperative commitment

Commitment is a characteristic of a free and informed agreement of a council to part of an inter-council cooperation .There is no obligation to join a council union or a decentralized cooperation agreement .however, once the desire has been expressed, the respect of commitment by stake holders stems from the free agreement of each of them and requires them to enforce the agreement that binds them. This enforcement must also be in good faith and can even involve the requirement to refrain from any act or attitude that may affect the implementation of decentralization.

Moreover, it should be noted that the intention of municipal authorities to get together goes beyond the mere individual will. It is a political will related to their status as agents of state entities, willingness illustrated by pooling efforts in the implementation of decentralization.

Legality of the purpose of cooperation

Equity/solidarity of cooperators

Exclusivity of the powers devolved

Equality of councils

Why get involved?

Solving one or more problems of common interests, may lead to thinking about pooling resources between two or more council. For example it is possible that population of the same area face the same daily realities, despite the administrative division. There is a convergence of objectives and socio-economic interests.

The existence of an opportunity to be seized may arouse in councils the idea to join together. For example, a major projects to carry out, a call for collective application, looking for technical experts for the implementation of a construction project; seeking financial support from financial partners or bilateral or multilateral cooperation, etc.

  • With whom to engage?

Partners to any form of inter-council cooperation or solidarity shall be councils or their groupings, based in Cameroon or abroad.

The partner profile depends on the problem to be solved or the opportunity to be seized.

  •  What form to choose?

The council union is a permanent inter-council structure that requires the implementation of organs whose operation is supported by the member councils.

Decentralized cooperation has the advantage of committing partners just for the duration of the activity to be performed. It does require the establishment of

Stage 2: How to get involved?

It is advisable to establish a working group consisting of representatives of all the councils concerned to.

Develop draft basic instruments, namely the agreement which materializes membership.

It should therefore be said that there is need for deliberative bodies of councils to be cognizant of these

Instruments in other to discuss and amend them, if necessary prior to approval.

     b-Budgeting and accounting management

The law laying down the rules applicable to councils states that “the resources needed by a council to exercise its powers shall be devolved upon it either by tax transfers or ceded revenue or both”.

Thus, the resources of the council union shall be derived from:

–         Contributions of councils;

–         The common decentralization fund;

–         FEICOM funding;

–         Funding from other public institutions;

–         Proceeds from various partnerships;

–         Resources generated by services/activities of the union;

–         Gifts and legacies;

–         Etc.

Management of these resources must comply with the principles of traditional management of public finances. (See law No. 2009 on the financial regime of regional and local authorities).