The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has asked District Commissioners (DCs) and Chief Executive Officers (CEO) in city and municipal councils to closely work with councillors and members of Parliament (MPs) for improved service delivery in the local authorities.
The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Halima Daud, made the call in Salima on Monday during the official opening of the leadership and management training for District Commissioners (DCs) and council chairpersons.
Daud said her ministry received complaints that some DCs have weak or bad relationships with the elected officers, a development that is affecting service delivery in the councils.
She asked the council controlling officers to ensure that there is proper communication with other stakeholders including the traditional leaders, councillors and MPs so that they are all aware of issues on the ground.
The Deputy Minister highlighted the need to ensure compliance with guidelines when implementing projects, adding that it is the responsibility of council leadership to provide political leadership and oversight to ensure that projects progress as planned.
“I have learnt that some district councils did not manage resources well to the extent that the opinion of external auditors on their financial statements were adverse or disclaimer. This means that finances disbursed to those councils were not properly used.
“Why should a council that has both the political and administrative leaders perform such poorly? My Ministry cannot just watch these issues happening. I, therefore, expect action on such matters at all levels,” she said.
She asked all sectors, including local authorities, to localize the Malawi 2063 Agenda into all their operations if the objectives are to be achieved.
The Deputy Minister reminded the councils that their role extends to initiating the authority to fill vacant positions, filling the vacancies, in some cases with involvement of Local Government Service Commission as well as initiating disciplinary actions.
“It is sad to note that some of the councils continue to blame the centre forgetting your own responsibilities in the matter. My ministry is ready to advise councils that do not seem to understand the current policy direction on this matter,” she said.