By Mary Makhiringa – Mana
Shire Ward Councillor in Balaka Central EastConstituency, Patrick Botomani, has been elected forthe second time as chairperson for the districtcouncil beating Byson Gombwa of the Malawi CongressParty (MCP) from Balaka South Constituency.
Representing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP),Botomani, was first elected as chairperson for Balaka DistrictCouncil in 2014, under whose leadership the council managedto emerge on position one in safe motherhood as well as the bestcouncil in terms of revenue collection.
Botomani emerged chair with eight votesagainst Gombwa’s three votes.
During the same Full Council meeting, Bwaila WardCouncillor, Linda Mwapasa of DPP was elected the firstfemale vice chairperson for the council with nine votes,beating Joseph Daniel of Chimwalire Ward(MCP) who had three votes.
Speaking after the elections, Botomani pledgedto continue from where his predecessor had stopped,noting that the council was doing well in most areas.
“Those who were there in 2014 will agree with methat I ably handled the position of the council chairperson. Wemanaged to be the best in safe motherhood and wewere also a role model in terms of revenue collection,” Botomanisaid.
Currently, Balaka is the best in Local Authority PerformanceAssessment (LAPA) and the council has also been commended forperforming well in reform areas.
“As the new chair, I will make sure that we continue to bethe best as well as representing the interests of people of Balaka,”he added.
Botomani said he would always strive for the bestand make sure that all employees at thecouncil are fully supported.
“I have been chairperson of theFinance Service Committee for several times and I know how thecouncil’s cash flows, I will make sure that all direct employees arepaid their dues in time to avoid unnecessary strikes,” he said.
In her remarks, Vice Chairperson elect, LindaMwapasa, said she will always workhand in hand with the council chairperson sothat no parallel lines are drawn.
“I am the only female councillor at the council; myelection is powerful since I will be representing allwomen. I will always work closely with the chairperson intaking the council to greater heights,” Mwapasa said.
Balaka Civil Society Organizations Chairperson, JohnBamusi, pledged to continue working in collaboration withthe new chairperson in developing the district.
“We know councillor Botomani as one of the hardworking councillors with more experience and we look forward to workingwith the new council chair. It is our hope that during hisleadership the council will continue leading.
“We’re also excited that for the first time Balaka haselected a female vice chairperson and this is part of womenempowerment. We only hope that next time we will see a woman as achair,” Bamusi said.
However, Bamusiurged Botomani to ensure that the council improves ininformation sharing so that the community is always kept abreast ofwhat is happening at the council.