Member of Parliament for Mzimba North Constituency Agnes Nyalonje has decried uneven distribution of resources in Mzimba District saying the southern part receives more than the north.
Nyalonje expressed the concern on the sidelines of a full district council meeting held recently.
She was reacting to a health committee recommendation that all 11 MPs from the district should contribute at least K3 million each from the constituency development fund (CDF) towards construction of a guardian shelter at Mzimba District Hospital located in the southern part.
The recommendation also faced resistance from ward councillors from Mzimba North who complained that much development activities discussed during the meeting were for Mzimba South.
Speaking in an interview, Nyalonje questioned the role of the council’s secretariat in data collection and analysis for the district saying she has never seen any situational analysis showing coverage of health services in the district despite asking for it.
“Malawi will never move from where we are until we begin to look at what are our challenges and where are they are.
“If one puts resources where minimum standards have already been met, leaving out those below minimum standards, it means there is a problem,” Nyalonje said.
She said her constituency has places such as Kamanda, Katope, Msongamino, Kasasire and Kawanda, where people are suffering a lot to due to lack of health centres, poor road network and lack of telephone networks.
“When there is a serious case of illness –whether a woman giving birth or just a child or a man –you just know that this is it because they can’t easily be taken to point of care because it’s not near.
“The point of care is Rumphi District Hospital, Ekwendeni Mission Hospital or Mzuzu. Simply to get to the main road, it takes you two hours or more on a bicycle,” she said.
Mzimba District Commissioner Thomas Chirwa said in an interview Friday that it was not true that the district has no analytical data to guide its operations.
“Each and every office has a plan of work. For example, we have the DHO [District Health Office], south and north. These offices have plan of work.
“There is data that guides them in the way they are supposed to carry out their work. Similarly, other departments such as education, agriculture have plans which are made out of the data available in their offices,” Chirwa said.
He, therefore, said it was unfortunate to conclude that there was no analytical data to guide development projects in Mzimba.
“I wouldn’t accept that development in Mzimba is not evenly distributed because of lack of data. Sometimes people talk because they do not have knowledge about what is happening in the offices, but if they went to different offices they should be able to get such kind of data,” Chirwa said.
He said if there were enough resources, every constituency would receive adequate development projects.
Mzimba is divided administratively into Mzimba North and Mzimba South due to its vastness. Calls by different stakeholders to have the district officially split into two or more districts for the sake of development have always ended in vain.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :