Malawi Local Government Association on Tuesday petitioned President Peter Mutharika for failure of his government to provide councillors with motorcycle loans as earlier agreed by Minister of Local Government Transizius Gowelo during the all inclusive meeting which took place in May this year at Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi.
Chief Secretary George Mkondiwa received the petition at Capital Hill on behalf of President Mutharika He promised to deliver the petition to the President.
“Thank you very much for this petition. And be informed that the petition will reach the targeted authority,” said Mkondiwa.
Delivering the petition, MALGA President Samson Chaziya said it is unfortunate that all devolved sectors have not been funded for the month of June, 2015 except health and constituency Development Fund in some selected councils.
Chaziya said councillors are still facing the problem of mobility in order to smoothly discharge their duties effectively.
“You are aware that in our conditions of service we are provided with motorcycle loans to enable purchase of the motorcycles, however one year after elections we have not been provided with the loans,” said Chaziya.
Meanwhile, MALGA has requested President Mutharika to intervene in expediting provision of funds to Local Government Authorities so that the operations of the local authorities are not affected.
MALGA has also asked President Mutharika to ensure that the provision of motorcycle loans for councillors is sorted so that they can serve their communities better.
During the 26 May Nkopola Lodge National Conference for the District Commissioners, Minister of Local Government and rural development Transizius Gowelo said government’s delays in disbursing loans to local government councillors, is because 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 issues 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 councillors will be granted the loans,” he added.
But during the conference, 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.
“Councillors 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 councillors 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 councillor 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 councillors 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.
MALGA is an umbrella organisation of Local Government authorities in Malawi which brings all local government in Malawi to speak with one voice on governance and development issues.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :