SYLVESTER MWALE A prudent leadership is key to the speedy development of the country and such leadership needs to be guarded. The commitment given by the government to adopt and develop the decentralisation policy could just be one of the best gestures the civic leaders have got from the central administration. For now, the question could be whether or not the decentralisation policy would deliver to expectations in correspondence with high public expectations, especially from the local civic authorities. As poverty, hunger and other social ills continue ravaging some African countries, many governments have been on their toes searching for lasting solutions to improve the livelihoods of their people. Different policies and strategies are being employed and implemented by poor nations, particularly in Africa to fight poverty and ensure that its effects were brought down to minimum levels. Apart from cushioning the effects of poverty, the policies are also aimed at escalating development at international, national, regional, and perhaps most importantly, at community level. It is in this vain that the Zambian government is implementing the decentralisation policy, which was adopted in 2002 to speed up development at grassroots level. The decentralisation policy seeks to involve some power, responsibilities and functions with matching resources from the central government to local authorities, in order to cultivate wider participation in national development. The policy has been regarded as a catalyst for national development, as well as one of the best solutions to good governance, transparency and accountability in the management of national resources. Clearly, every nation is fighting on how best it can serve its people and enhance sustainable development. However, the prevailing situation where the central government plans for the lowest level in the national set-up has roundly been seen as bureaucratic and hindrance to quick development at lower levels. But could this be true? I think this is the right time to take bottom-upwards approach to issues of development in Zambia to see fast and sustainable development, said Lusakas Kabwata Development Committee Vice Chairperson Beautford Mambwe. He further maintained: We need to utilise every opportunity that comes our way such as the decentralisation policy in enhancing development, especially at the lower level where the community feels neglected. Adding that the disbursement of funds for development projects, including the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by the government through local authorities, has been frustrating. While there have been unnecessary structures between the government and the people at the grassroots, which have made it difficult for the community to appreciate many development projects. Meanwhile, the lower levels of government such as wards and zones have experienced typical examples and lessons on how decentralisation could enhance sustainable development. Geoffrey Zimba, one of the zone leaders in Lusaka said: In many cases the efforts of the government have gone unnoticed because people are not aware of the development taking place in their own surroundingsthey are not part of the many cases, projects have been approved, but failed to take off because of the lengthy process involved in accessing funds. We hope that with the full implementation of the policy, many of such problems will be completely eradicated or reduced to minimal levels. There could be no better time to improve the lives of the people than now. Experts have observed that when the people decide their needs at the lowest level of the community, they will be able to actively take part as well. Moreover, there is a sense of ownership of every project that is undertaken and many members of the community would find it easy to make their leaders accountable with every resource. The Times of Zambia