Government has said the ongoing anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations being championed by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) are negatively affecting its revenue collection.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Ben Phiri said on Monday when he jointly addressed a news conference with Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani in Lilongwe .
For the past four months, HRDC has been organising protests aimed at forcing the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign for allegedly messing up the May 21 presidential election results.
But the embattled MEC chairperson, who has described the accusations of mismanaging the polls as unfounded and baseless, has rejected resignation calls, saying she would wait for the court’s judgement before deciding whether to step aside or not.
The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge further described the ongoing nationwide demonstrations by HRDC as “mob justice”.
Phiri hinted that implementation of some development projects could also face challenges because government is not collecting enough because of the slow economic activities.
The minister talked about various projects his ministry is undertaking to improve the quality of service delivery in district, town and city councils across the country.
“Since these demonstrations started, councils and the Malawi Revenue Authority have not been collecting enough resources to finance development projects. Our fear is that if these demonstrations continue, a number of development projects may be affected,” he said.
Phiri did not estimate how much government is losing due to the demonstrations.
However, the minister indicated that delivery of services in most public facilities such as markets may go down if the status quo remains.
On fighting corruption in the councils, the minister said his ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which will facilitate closer collaboration between the ministry and Bureau in preventing and fighting corruption.
“I must admit. Corruption remains endemic in our councils. But let me assure you that we, at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, are working very hard to deal with this vice,” he said.
In his remarks, Botomani said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led administration has lined up a number of programmes to improve the social and economic situation of the country.
He implored journalists to partner with government in writing positive stories about the various development projects under implementation across the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :