After months of relentlessly engaging ministries and parastatal organisations on public sector reforms, Vice President Saulous Chilima has now turned the reforms drive to local councils to improve service delivery.
Chilima on Monday met officials from Kasungu Municipal, Kasungu District Council, Nkhotakota District Council, Salima District Council and Mchinji District Council.
” As the administration of His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, implements the Public Sector Reforms agenda – it is important that district councils and municipal councils are at the centre of the Reforms initiative to ensure smooth collaboration and coordination between the local and the central government”, the Veep wrote on his Facebook page.
He said engaging local councils on the Reforms will help to reposition and prepare them to effectively and efficiently execute the provision of service delivery to the people of Malawi.
” Reforming local councils means capacitating them to properly carry out their mandates that include making decisions on local governance and development at district level; promoting infrastructure development and consolidating local democratic participation”.
Chilima said apart from receiving updates on the progress of previous reform areas and outlining new reforms, the meetings are also aimed to help the councils do away with rigidities so as to make them effective, efficient and professional.
He said, for instance, the councils have exciting plans for revenue generation, which if prioritised, could move them from over dependency on central government to self sustainability.
“We expect the councils to identify areas that will drive their financial sustainability and improve service delivery with the aim of improving livelihoods of Malawians. These reform areas touch on promotion of tourism, innovations in revenue collection systems and expanding revenue base,” he said.
The Veep says the goal of the Tonse government is to establish secondary cities that would have village industries, processing plants and organized markets, a concept that President Chakwera has tasked the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms and Ministry of Local Government to implement with urgency.
Chilima has singled out tourism as one area the councils should prioritise for revenue generation, citing Nkhotakota which has seven lakes and a game reserve which if promoted would create opportunities for expansion into water transport and sustainable fishing.
” What the councils have in common is poor local revenue collection and yet they are able to identify areas for improving revenue generation. The councils know what needs to be done but the plans on paper must be reflected in healthy coffers and improved service delivery,” he says.
The veep says government expect the councils to resubmit the reports with tangible deliverables clearly indicated, not just activities.
Chilima has won praise for driving the reforms agenda, which started gathering dust after he was unceremoniously removed from championing them during the DPP regime at a time the reforms had started bearing fruits.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :