Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati has threatened to post away from districts all non-performing officers to ensure the districts have officers who are serious with their work.
Kaliati sounded the warning on Wednesday in Lilongwe when she officially handed over 15 motorcycles which government has bought, to community development officers in various districts.
Speaking in an interview the minister said she would link up with the Director of Community Development to see how best to work on the issue.
“The transferring of these people is to ensure that they are doing their work. Some of them have been in one place for a long time, as such, they are used to their places and know a lot of people.
“Even when there are cases of defilement, they cannot take them seriously because they know one another within the communities.
“I was giving an example of Lilongwe in Mitundu where the clinical officer told us about the high prevalence of early marriages and defilement cases in the area, but the officers responsible did not tell us,” she said.
Kaliati minister further noted that after officers stay for a very long time at one station, they stop doing government work and concentrate on their businesses such as opening schools.
“It doesn’t mean that we don’t want them to do business, but we do not want them do it during work time because it suffocates government work.
“We look forward to seeing officers at district level sort out challenges in their districts. We have issues like trafficking of persons, rape and defilement among others and we want these officers to deal with these issues,” she said.
The minister then acknowledged the challenge of understaffing in her ministry, saying it is working to recruit more staff to ease the challenge.
Nkhata Bay District Community Development Officer, Jacob Moloko, said most districts, including his own, are understaffed. He said the districts are too huge with many areas of coverage.
“For example, Nkhata Bay has about 17 traditional authorities (T.A.s) which means each of them is supposed to have an officer, but in this case there are only nine. This means each officer has to cover two traditional authorities,” he said.
According to Moloko, the situation is impacting on implementation of the activities negatively because there are some areas which are difficult to reach and therefore, not well covered.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :