Government has warned overzealous councilors who resort to closing public offices in district councils once they disagree on certain issues.
Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Kiswell Dakamau sounded the warning on Wednesday at a special meeting in Zomba organized to resolve an impasse between irate councilors and district council officials.
Disgruntled Councilors last week closed two key offices of the Director of Planning and Development (DPD) and Director of Administration (DOA) alleging that the two officers fail to share with them important information which they are supposed to access.
During the meeting, Dakamau warned the councilors saying they have no mandate under the laws of the country to either transfer or enforce transfers on government officials, adding that closing public offices is a criminal act since the conduct is sabotage of public service delivery.
He warned the councilors to stop the malpractice forthwith or face prosecution.
Dakamau ordered the immediate opening of the two offices in Zomba saying the councilors acted illegally.
He further said government, through the head of state, has authority to dissolve the councils that misbehave and act contrary to laws of the country.
Speaking on behalf of the councilors, chairperson of Zomba district council Chikumbutso Likandawe, accepted having acted wrongfully but bemoaned the lack of information sharing between the council secretariat and councilors.
Likandawe hailed government for sending the high powered to delegation that included officials from the Local Government Service Commission, Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA), Local Government Service Finance Committee and ministry to intervene in the matter.
On his part, Charles Chunga, Chairperson for MALGA described the practice by the councilors as pathetic and illogical saying district council offices are key for public service delivery.