Rumphi West member of Parliament (MP) Jacqueline Kouwenhoven (independent) has brought the attention of Minister lof Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa that in Rumphi District Council, there is an “extremely high vacancy level.”
The Rumphi West MP said in parliament, stating that she noted the vacancy rate in the report of the Local Authorities and Rural development Committee.
“Mr Speaker, Sir, 70 per cent of the positions are not filled and yet we are talking about decentralization. How can a council function with 70 per cent of vacancy level?” she said.
Kouwenhoven asked the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to “urgently act” on the matter.
“We have in the Public Works Office one Acting Director of Public Works (DPW) nobody else, an Acting Director of Planning and development (DPD), no register officer, no qualified procurement officer and no qualified stores officer.
“We have an Acting Director of Administration. In the accounts office where everything is happening, only a few people are working. I plead for the position of Director of Finance as well,” said Kouwenhoven.
She asked for support from Minister of Transport Jappie Mhango, who is also a Member of Parliament for Rumphi North, to request for the substantive officers.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Nankhumwa conceded that there is “ extremely very high vacancy level, not only at Rumphi District Council but almost in all councils across the country.”
Nankhumwa said this is due to the freeze in recruitment as directed by government.
“I know, Mr Speaker, Sir, that the high vacancy level is one of the challenges that is really besetting the development or the activities of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development at district council level. Just to give you an example, we have had cases whereby because of this high vacancy level, you find that an Assistant Aids Coordinator at the district would be given a responsibility as an Acting Director of Planning and Development.
“We are currently discussing at the ministry with the Ministry of Finance Economic Planning and Development so that together find a common solution to the challenge. We may request that a waiver should be put on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in as far as the freeze of recruitment is concerned so that it can be given a go ahead to fill key positions in our district councils,” said Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa said he shared the concernof MP Kouwenhoven “and as government we are looking into that. “Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :