Lilongwe South Parliamentarian, Peter Dimba, this week took Mzimba District Executive Committee (DEC) members by surprise as he asked them what was their opinion on whether the 10,430 square kilometer district should be divided or not.
Dimba said this at Mzimba boma when Parliamentary Joint Committee members visited M’mbelwa District Council to find out the council’s achievements and challenges as it delivered its services to the people in the district.
He was responding to challenges such as few ambulances to cater for distant places such as Kabuwa near Nkhotakota, Kanjuchi and Luwerezi.
During the meeting, MPs also learnt that very few trading centres were electrified in the district under Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP).
“DEC, as a technical arm of government can also come up with suggestions on how challenges facing the biggest district in the country can be overcome. By dividing such a district you can solve some of the problems the district is facing at present,” he explained.
All DEC members chose not to comment on the matter. However, M’mbelwa District Council Director of Planning and Development (DPD), Precious Kantsitsi who was representing the District Commissioner at the meeting, said DEC members were not supposed to give the merits of dividing the district.
The DPD said the district which is also referred to as Kingdom, belongs to the people of Mzimba and they are the ones who can decide whether to divide their district or not.
Kantsitsi said technically, the district was divided into two, Mzimba North and Mzimba South.
“For example there is District Education Manager [DEM] south; his office is at Mzimba Boma, while DEM North’s office is at Ekwendeni. DHO south is at Mzimba Boma while DHO north is in Mzuzu,” he explained.
In an interview with MANA, Dimba said big districts such as Mzimba and Lilongwe have to be divided in order to improve on service delivery.
He said for example, in a MAREP phase, only three trading centres can be electrified in a specific district regardless of its size. As result Mzimba and Lilongwe are treated like other small districts such as Neno.
Dimba extended his point to say if Machinga and Balaka was still one district, it would have few centres benefitting from the MAREP Programme. He said today Machinga benefits a lot because it is a stand-alone district.
However, responding to the call through telephone interview, Senior Chief Mpherembe said Dimba’s sentiments are just his personal opinion.
Paramount Chief M’mbelwa could not be reached for a comment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :