Councils told to improve quality of service delivery

Chancellor College-based political and governance expert Mustafa Hussein has called for concerted efforts to improve quality of service delivery by district, municipal and city councils, particularly in key public sectors of health, public works, agriculture and education.

Mustapha Hussein: Made a presentation on the local authority performance assessment

Hussein made the call in Lilongwe today when he made a presentation on the local authority performance assessment (LAPA) for 2018-2019 fiscal year.

He observed that there has been sluggish improvement in key performance areas (KPA) in Malawi’s district, municipal and city councils thereby denying citizens their right to enjoy quality service delivery.

“The national average score for all KPAs in 2018/2019 fiscal year is 39 percent. This means the performance of all KPAs need improvement (there are however some KPA’s have average performance i.e. health, public works, agriculture and education,” said Hussein.

However, the political and governance expert acknowledged that the score for the 2018/2019 fiscal year is higher than the 2016/2017 national average score of 33 percent, which represents an upward movement (improvement) of an average of 6 percent.

Apparently, there was no assessment conducted in 2017/18 fiscal year.

A study, which Hussein conducted alongside 20 other researchers with funding from the Local Governance Accountability Programme (LGAP), fund that that Kasungu Municipal Council is doing very well on Development Planning Human Resources Development and Management.

On the other hand, Machinga is leading the way on Financial and Procurement Management.

Mulanje has been rated a star on governance while Zomba, Lilongwe and Phalombe are superb on Public Works.

Phalombe and Mangochi have been credited for delivering exceptional service in health and environment and M’mbelwa, Mchinji and Blantyre district councils have done well in agriculture and natural resources.

The study also found that Mchinji did well in education sector while Blantyre topped the list on commerce and trade.

On Gender, Children, Youth, Sports and Community Services (including Disaster Management), Blantyre is topping the list while Machinga is leading the way on Mainstreaming Key Crosscutting Issues (ICT, Gender, Human Rights, HIV and AIDS, Nutrition, People with Disabilities, the Youth, Children, Climate Change and the Environment).

In her remarks, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Halima Daud, appealed for an end to power struggles between members of Parliament (MPs) and councilors, stressing that this is critical for the improvement of quality service delivery in councils.

Daud observed that the power struggle between MPs and councilors has negatively affected the quality of service in councils.

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