Blantyre City residents have hailed the Council for organising a participatory pre-budgeting session where they had an opportunity to input into the 2015/16 development budget.
Gamulani Community Development Committee chairperson a Mr Makwinja appealed to the Council to take on board the comments from the participants.
“We are very grateful that you decided to bring us here to give our input into the development budget. This is our City and together we can change things. What we have witnessed today is a milestone,” said Makwinja.
BCC Director of Town Planning and Estates Services Costly Chanza said CDC members had a responsibility to sensitize people on the need to protect public property.
Chanza said that public property vandalism makes the council lose enough money meant for other developments because it engages in projects that were already done.
“Blantyre cannot develop if people continue to vandalize public property such as road signs and traffic lights and poles,” said Chanza, who presented the draft budget on behalf of the Council.
“This makes the Council lose money since it is required to replace the vandalised property. People need to be sensitized on how these acts affect the works of Blantyre City Council,” he said.
The Council’s Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Ted Nandolo said Blantyre residents needed to be part of the development budget formulating process so that they own the development in the City.
Nandolo said although the Council was not able to satisfy all the needs of the residents, it was also not wise enough for some people to specialise on criticising without offering alternative and advice.
Said Nandolo: “Yes we may be failing in some areas, but some people are also just good at going on radio stations criticising instead of coming forward to offer solutions. This is one of the platforms to contribute those wise ideas.”
“May I ask my friends from the media to take these critics to task. When they come to criticise the Council, ask them if they participated in this session because this is a good forum to contribute their brilliant ideas of developing the City,” he said.
The chief executive officer also told the gathering that the Council has taken an approach of outsourcing some of the services citing sweeping of the markets and streets as some of the services that can easily be outsourced.
He said the Council, apart from providing specialised services such as Fire brigade, would concentrate on bylaws formulation and monitoring.
Among other things the participatory budget looks at the sanitation in the markets, the condition of roads and some primary schools.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :