By Chimwemwe Njoloma – Mana.
Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Government, Halima Daud has called upon Councils to reposition themselves and redefine what they do, so that they strengthen its revenue base.
She made the remarks on Monday when she visited Lilongwe District Council on a familiarization tour.
The Deputy Minister said for the Councils to bring meaningful change in the communities they need to have a wide range of activities that would be generating revenue.
“Councils should strive to work or come up with projects that generate revenue so that they can stand on their own rather than always looking outside for grants and handouts,” she said.
Daud said the current government has prioritized prosperity and well-being of Malawian citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion, region or tribal background and councils are a vehicle that could drive the nation to that prosperity.
She said her Ministry was empowered by the Local Government Act and the Decentralization Policy to facilitate the implementation of decentralization process.
“My ministry is mandated to promote local governance, participatory democracy and creation of an enabling environment for social economic development and social stability of Councils.”
“This was why, we are calling upon Councils to come up with necessary by-laws that will enable them to perform their functions effectively,” Daud added.
The Deputy Minister pointed out that the Ministry wants to see Councils that are responsive to community needs, including being conscious of community economic development.
She said that, “We want to have Councils that are innovative in dealing with problems or issues, Councils that are effective and efficient when delivering their services.”
Lilongwe District Council Chairperson, Luciano Botomani thanked the Deputy Minister for the visit.
He said Lilongwe has a good working relationship that has enabled them to fulfil some of its district developmental plans.
Botomani said despite that, it was important to note that the District has registered a high number of cases in chieftaincy wrangles which has derailed development in some constituencies.
“Let me inform you that we have had a lot of chieftaincy wrangles. As I speak, there are several injunctions on chieftaincy wrangles in the court. We would like to ask your Ministry to seriously look into this issue and bring sanity in our district,” he suggested.
Botomani assured the deputy Minister that the Council would make sure that it desists from abuse of resources and take issues of discipline seriously.