One of President Peter Mutharika’s overarching priorities is to achieve tangible improvement in Malawians’ livelihoods through rapid infrastructural development and other socio-economic programmes that support development closer to the communities.
Local Government and Rural Development Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa told Nyasa Times in an interview on Friday, March 1, 2019 on the sidelines of the official launch of the Zomba Social Economic Profile and the District Development Plan (DDC).
“The President has set and maintained high standards of roads and other infrastructure development in Malawi. The tarred road network has increased tenfold. In four years, the DPP government, under the visionary leadership of His Excellency President Mutharika, has constructed and rehabilitated many roads in this country more than all previous governments combined. The construction of new bituminized roads in rural and urban areas speaks volumes about the kind of a development-conscious President Malawi has,” said Nankhumwa.
“This kind of development has changed the social and economic status of the people because mobility has been simplified thereby enhancing trade and social interaction and cohesion among the people,” he added.
According to the Minister, Malawi embarked on the National Decentralization Programme in 1998 after adoption of the Decentralization Policy and enactment of the Local Government Act (1998).
The decentralization process aims at enhancing community participation in governance and development by devolving Political and Administrative authority to the district level. This empowers Local Authorities to plan and execute their own development activities, he said.
Addressing the gathering at Gymkhana Ground, Nankhumwa thanked individuals, ministries, departments and organizations “for their invaluable support and dedication in producing these documents”.
“I also wish to convey special thanks to USAID and UK AID through Local Government Accountability and Performance Project(LGAP) for the financial and technical support throughout the processes of coming up with these documents.
“The 2018-2022 District Development Plan is a blue print for guiding development in Zomba District. It is a medium term plan for the district that consolidates prioritized development issues and their corresponding strategies and programmes that take into account the district’s economic and natural endowments,” said Nankhumwa, who is also the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the South, MP for Mulanje Central and Leader of Government Business in Parliament.
He said the documents he officially launched on Friday were reviewed through a participatory process involving all stakeholders at community level, district level and national level.
“Most importantly, it involved all Full Council members who finally approved the plan, thus, owned by the people of Zomba District and will surely address the needs of these communities,” said Nankhumwa.
The documents are a framework that sets development priorities for Zomba District for the next five years. It is an ambitious path to transform the communities in Zomba in line with national priorities as articulated in Malawi’s Vision 2020 and Malawi Growth and Strategy III (MGDS III).
In the Zomba DDC, key priority areas that are highlighted include agriculture, water development and climate change; education and skills development; energy, industry and tourism development; transport and information, communication and technology (ICT) infrastructure; and health and population.
Additionally, the plan gives specific attention to other areas of development, including financial services; social welfare; human settlement and physical planning; HIV and AIDS management; nutrition; peace and security; and integrated rural development.
Other speakers at the event included Director of Local Government Services, Sphiwe Mauwa, Zomba District Commissioner, Emmanuel Bambe, Chairperson for Zomba District Council, Evans Namakoka and Zomba District Council Director of Planning and Development, Fred Nankuyu, among others.
Before the substantive event, Nankhumwa inspected various pavilions depicting the key priority areas as contained in the DDC.
The event was also spiced up by traditional Masewe and Gulewamkulu dances, comedies and a live music performance by Alleluya Band of Balaka, among other activities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :