The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi has named Blantyre City Council (BCC) as the most improved government institution in terms of information dissemination.
Just last year the institution which in the past was locked with stories of financial mismanagement and striking staff members was given a lock that represented the secretive government department.
This year it is the the Road Traffic and Safety Service Directorate which has been named the most secretive department. Ironically there have been lots of issues that the general public wanted to be clear of that ranged from corrupt practices allegations to poor service delivery, among many other issues.
In a report released by media watchdog MISA Malawi on how government institutions have fared in the year in terms of information dissemination, MISA Malawi Chairperson Thom Khanje laments that the media organisations in the country find it hard to access information from the Road Traffic and Safety Service Directorate for public consumption.
The MISA Malawi chairperson also noted that unlike many government institutions, the Road Traffic and Safety Services does not have a Public Relations Department. It also does not embrace the technology of having a websites.
“Surprisingly, the department is supposed to spearhead civic education on road traffic and safety issues. And some of these were een handled by the road Safety Council before it was merged with the Riad Traffic Department,” observed Manyana Mwase in Lilongwe.
Mwase lamented that the merger has not only killed the Road safety Council but the country in as far as road safety is concerned, as there are no more road safety shows, public lectures, school sensitization workshops, road safety competitions, among many other areas that the Road Safety Council handled.
“You even rarely hear of Defensive Driving lessons or related issues. Nowadays even the corporate world has not been doing much on donation of road safety tools and equipment to schools and other institutions because they were been championed by the Rad safety Council,”a dded Mwase.
The research has named Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as the most open organization, the position it also scoped last year. MEC improved in information dissemination with the coming in of the public relations office which also updates its website and issues press releases more often.
A former employee at the BCC notes with delight the achievement by the BCC and attributed it to conceted efforts. He shares his hainess with Nyasatimes readers saying; Ït is obvious that the coming in of a Public Relations Manager who also sits in the Management Team and Council Meetings has greatly contributed to this.
It is also a fact that the PR Manager is not just any other person but former chairperson of MISA Malawi and the person who actually presented the lock (symbol of most secretive institution) to his current empoyer and he could not allow it that the same happen while he is there.”
He added: “The coming in of the Concillors has also attributed to the improvement as there are lots of positives to comment or reort on frm the Council. It must also be noted that the Council has new chief executive officer, who is open to the press”.
BCC roped in Anthony Kasunda from the Nation Publications Limited last year. His coming has sen the Council having a live website and floating of events and pres relases in the press and webste.
He is also open just as is Mayor Councollor Noel Chalamanda and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Alfred Chanza are. Other notable management members that also speak to the news organisations are Directors Commerce and Director of Town Planning while Councillor George Chipwete and deputy Mayor Wild Ndipo are also open to the press.
“Their hands are clean so they have nothing to hide or worry about. As for the Councillors, BCC stands proud as having a good number of a cream of Councillors and it is not surprising that the institution has achieved his,” observed the former employee now residing in the central region.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :