Minister of Local Government, Professor Blessings Chinsinga, has disclosed government plans to revise National Decentralization Policy and Local Government Act to provide an enabling environment for the successful implementation of decentralization policy reforms.
Chinsinga made the remarks on Thursday during a validation meeting for the reviewed decentralization policy and local government frameworks held in Lilongwe.
“The conclusion of the policy and the legislative instruments is an opportune time to rewrite the history of decentralization in the country in a positive way,” he said.
Chinsinga said the country’s overarching planning development framework, the Malawi 2063, is unequivocal about the importance of efficient and effective governance institutions and systems.
As government, he said, they genuinely believe in a robust and vibrant local government system as a game changer in a concerted efforts to build a new Malawi that works for all.
According to Chinsinga, over two decades, the country embarked on a decentralization journey that aimed at empowering people to participate fully in the governance and socio-economic development of the country to strengthen demand driven development especially among the grassroots.
This journey now, he said, entails to transfer both administration, political power and authority from central government to local authorities with the aim of strengthening democratic institutions and participation of people in development at the local level.
Unicef Resident Representative, Rudolf Schwenk hailed government for reviewing the police as well as the local government instruments in order to reach a national vision.
“The policy is crucial if the country is to attain a conducive environment for inclusive citizen participation, adequate service delivery, effective local planning and infrastructure development,” he said.
Schwenk therefore said the two documents respond to the pressing need of adapting the legal and policy framework of the county’s decentralized systems to Malawi current context.