By George Bulombola – Mana.
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MoLRD) has advised residents in town, district and city councils to be paying city rates, fees and charges, market fees and licenses to enhance smooth operation of the councils.
Minister responsible for the ministry, Dr. Ben Phiri was speaking Wednesday in Mzuzu when he interacted with district commissioners of all district councils in the north.
Phiri said his ministry is aware of the challenges which councils face in delivering services and paying wages for their employees and that the ministry is doing everything possible to develop strategies which can assist in addressing such challenges.
“Since the adoption of decentralization, most of the central government’s responsibilities were devolved to local councils and this calls for the need of adequate financial resources to match with the responsibilities,” said Phiri.
He said some of the challenges include inadequate capacity in different fields and resource mobilization.
“As a ministry, we believe that DCs are responsible for spearheading as well as advising councils of best practices, so we are assisting the councils to deal with some of the challenges and have registered some improvement in councils though there are some challenges here and there,” he said.
He said the meeting was held to create a platform through which the councils share experiences, challenges and how to deal with them.
Commenting on the meeting, District Commissioner (DC) for Nkhata Bay, Rodney Simwaka said the meeting was very relevant to the DCs because it enhanced their managerial skills for them to run the councils effectively.
“As managers and heads of public institutions, we must have skills to better serve the councils and provide services as expected of us by the people,” said Simwaka.
He said people have high expectations from councils as such the local authorities need to jack up to meet the expectations by making good use of resources for the benefit of the people.