Neno residents plead with Malawi govt on DCs frequent removal

People in Neno have expressed concern over frequent transfers of District Commissioners (DCs) observing that in two years the district has changed DCs on four occasions.

According to district statistics since the moving of Lawford Palani in 2002 from Neno to Thyolo, the district has been managed by Hamisi Twabi who just stayed in Neno for three months before being posted to Ntcheu district.

Thereafter, the district stayed two months without a DC until 14 September, 2012 when Mcloud Kadam’manja came in as a new DC.

Under his administration, Kadam’manja tried to uplift the council’s activities whereby he tried to resolve chieftaincy boarder wrangles, chieftaincy issues and start developing the council’s report database before he also got moved to Mangochi after a brief stay.

Some of the District Commissioners
Some of the District Commissioners

Currently, the district has welcomed a new DC from Mchinji, Gasten Macheka who is yet to start exercising his administration strategies in the district.

The frequent postings of the top government officials at the district level has, among others, affected the smooth running of the government development operations since every DC comes along with their style of leadership.

First to sound his concerns was Traditional Authority Mlauli who said he is not against government decisions of posting DCs to other areas but the way DCs are posted from Neno to other districts needed to be minimised.

Mlauli observed that Neno being a newly introduced district requires a stable DC who could fully follow up on some of the issues since the district is facing a lot of development challenges.

“My appeal to government is to consider us by not moving out DCs anyhow as this negatively affects the council’s operations and continuity of development activities,” Mlauli complained.

Neno business representative, Loveness Chingwalu also expressed her concerns, saying the frequent movement of DCs affects them as business community because every new DC needs to be given time to appreciate the council’s problems including those faced by the business community.

“It is sad to hear that DC Kadam’manja is moved again and his transfer comes at a time when we are waiting to hear his responses to some of the concerns which we presented to him and now we know that we have to wait for the new DC,” said Chingwalu.

Government officials working at the council have their take on the issue as they also feel the gap when a DC is posted away from the district.

Director of Planning and Development, McPherson Mwakhwawa said as much as he appreciates government obligation of transferring officers from one working location to another, the frequent change of DCs sometimes affects the council’s operations.

“Of course, the DCs and even myself know that one day I will be posted somewhere but the transfer of the DCs sometimes affects the council’s operations as every DC comes along with their style of leadership and management.

“Even for DCs to start understanding some of the crucial development issues needs at least a considerable time for him to start implementing such issues but all the same it is government’s prerogative,” he said.

Since the establishment of Neno district in 2002 the office of the DC has been changing officers for more than 12 times and there has been no DC who stayed in the district for two years.

Currently, the district is facing critical development challenges such as having no tarmac road to the boma, it has inadequate government offices, no piped water, no filling station and it has 10 health centres against 130, 000 people among other challenges.

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