President Professor Peter Mutharika has bemoaned the mismanagement of resources by the councils in the country, saying they are increasing levels of abuse of resources such as theft and corruption.
Mutharika made the remarks Tuesday in Lilongwe at Kamuzu Palace during an audience with Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA).
He said this has to be stopped as soon as possible, because the practice discourages the central government and development partners alike from giving the councils more resources and responsibilities.
“It is the wish of my Government to move towards full decentralization, which would entail devolving the financial, human and physical resources to councils. I therefore request MALGA to help build the capacity of the councillors and support the accountability systems of councils,” said Mutharika.
The Malawi leader said he was aware of a number of challenges that councils experience, both structural and systematic and said his government is working hard to end those problems.
“I know that some councils have no capacity to raise enough resources by themselves, the long standing issue of the role of Members of Parliament ( MP) in Council processes and that some wards are bigger than others.
“Let me assure you that Government is doing everything possible to make our councils function to the desired levels. For example, we are reviewing the Local Government Act, and related Acts to be in line with modern demands of democracy and local governance,” said Mutharika.
He said government has made the Ministry of Local Government a priority agency in the Public Sector Reforms, because as government they believe that they get the local authority efficient and effective, they will complete the formula of the country’s development.
Mutharika therefore asked MALGA to help Government in the fight for mindset change among Malawians.
He said, “we need our people to believe in their abilities; to work hard; to be trustworthy; and to love their country. We need people that do not believe in handouts, but the fruits of their hard work”.
Mutharika then appealed to all councillors across the country to be exemplary by working hard, being of high integrity and patriotic. If we all walk together, and work hard together for this country, everybody will be happy in the end.
According to Mutharika a prosperous Malawi is possible, and he said that is what we must all work hard for.
MALGA President Samson Chaziya who is also Ward Councillor for Mazengera Ward in T/A Mazengera of Lilongwe Mpenu Constituency said the President has assured them that all the proposals which have been submitted to him will be taken into consideration.
He said as councils they are straggling to operate because of funds and that during the meeting they have been assured that all the requests are being taken care of.
“MALGA will engage development partners to provide resources with which to build the capacity of the leadership of councils,” said Chaziya.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said it is clear that President Mutharika puts much emphasis on decentralization and issues to do with rural development.
He said it pleased the president to meet MALGA members and hear how they are carrying out their duties and the challenges they are facing upon their day to day duties in the councils.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :