Malawi Human Rights Resources Center (MHRRC) has strongly warned that unless councillors in Chitipa District wake up from their slumber, it will be a farfetched dream for people in the district to expect sound and sustainable socioeconomic development.
The warning was made by MHRRC Programme Manager, Emma Kaliya during councilors’ meeting held at World Relief Hall at Chitipa Boma on Thursday/
The meeting was sponsored by MHRRC to give room to councillors to re-work on the proposed by-laws which were gathering dust in the shelves.
Speaking to MANA soon after the meeting, Kaliya expressed concern over councillors’ lack of aggressiveness and vigilance in handling issues that required highest degree of seriousness and urgency.
Kaliya cited protracted process of formulating by-laws as an example of lack of seriousness by the councillors.
Warned Kaliya, “ If this will be the trend to run affairs of the district, then it will be evident that Chitipa citizens will have to wait a little longer to have access to quality services that can improve their welfare.”
Kaliya observed that councillors seem to pile too much trust on council secretariat and other sector heads for things to move, a development she said was not health, saying government officials can always snub them upon noticing lack of seriousness and commitment among ward representatives in whose hands, the direction of the council rests.
“If councillors will choose to dance to the tune of secretariat officials, they will find it a daunting task to look for solutions to many challenges weighing down the district,” warned Kaliya
The Gender Activist also expressed worry over an explained absenteeism by Members of Parliament and some key sector heads during council meetings which she said renders deliberation too shallow
Kaliya’s observation comes hot in the heels of another accusation by former Director of Administration (DOA) Lino Nyirenda who repeatedly advised the councillors not to wait in the laurels, expecting secretariat to do everything for them and later blame it for doing things behind their backs.
“You are our bosses to give us orders and if you wait for us to do everything for you then it will be absolutely doing things the opposite way,” said Nyirenda
Recently, councillors pleaded with the council secretariat to help in working out mechanism on how to mobilize resources, arguing that they do not have a single capacity to execute the exercise.
Former Council Chair person, Osman Kanyika was on record to take lead in accusing Director of Finance (DOF)’ office for denying them access to information regarding council revenue collection and expenditure.
Currently, some councillors have cried foul that secretariat officials implement big scale programmes without their knowledge, a situation that has left many wondering as to who is in control of the district.
Meanwhile, core sector heads have been tasked to fine tune the by-laws before channeling them to ministry of local government for scrutiny and matching them with generic laws.
Kaliya described the by-laws as key in administration of the councils as they regulate all operations and governance of the local government institutions.
“ By-laws are a prerequisite for all councils because they regulate operations and ensure quality service delivery,” explained Kaliya
Chitipa Magistrate Court First Grade Magistrate Julious Kalambo asked councilors to exercise caution in formulating by-laws so that they are not in conflict with central government laws provided in the Penal Code of Malawi.
Meanwhile, the incumbent Chair person, Isaac Mwepa admitted there is weakness among his forces as they still have a few things to be oriented on before going on the track to discharge their roles they were ushered in office for.
MHRRC is implementing Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) in Chitipa District, with an objective of promoting the rights of women and a girl child and to minimize women dependency on men as sole bread winner.–ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :