: Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Trasizio Gowelo has confessed that his ministry has more District Commissioners than available councils, but he blames the situation on ‘undeserving’ promotions prior to the 2014 tripartite polls.
Gowelo made the confession last Friday when he opened a two day-national conference on Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi.
He said the number of DCs was increased in 2014 before the tripartite elections with other undeserving officers being promoted to the post. Gowelo could not elaborate further.
“Additional DCs were hired in 2014 before last year’s elections with ulterior motives and these additional DCs have increased the number of DCs and yet we only have 28 districts,” Gowelo observed.
“As a ministry we are doing everything possible to allocate these additional DCs to various positions within the Ministry although we have been facing legal challenges but discussions are still going on to resolve the matter,” he said, adding that once everything is concluded they will be given various positions in the service.
On government’s delays in disbursing loans to local government councilors, Gowelo said the ministry is consulting commercial banks and the Ministry of Finance on the best way to administer the facility.
“We are still discussing with our colleagues in banks and those in Finance on the issue of interest rates. As you may be aware, the issue of loan is a long term issue which needs to be handled properly, very soon the councilors will be granted the loans,” he added.
President of MALGA Samson Chaziya said government could have been specific as to when local government representatives would start getting loans as they have already waited for a long time.
“Councilors are facing a lot of challenges in performing their duties because they do not have motorcycles for their transport and other people out there think that the councilors are failing to deliver but it is due to mobility challenges,” Chaziya said.
“Now we would like government to give provide us with loans not commercial banks because banks charge high interest rates, for example, for a loan of K500, 000 a councilor would be required to pay back about K1 million which is double the amount and too expensive at the same time,” added Chaziya.
Chaziya, therefore, said it would have been better if government took the responsibility of administering the loans to protect the councilors from high interest rates.
The two day conference attracted District Commissioners, Chief Executive Officers for City and Town Councils, Mayors and Chairpersons of District and Town Councils.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :