The Publicity Secretary for Public Affairs Committee (PAC) Father Peter Mulomole has reiterated his organization’s commitment to see that the proposed amendments in the 2015 Local amendment bill have been adopted.
Rev Mulomole was speaking at T and D lodge near Chancellor College on Monday during a follow-up to November seminar of media practioners in which PAC sensitized the media on the proposed amendments to the local government Bill.
“PAC believes that the implementation of these reforms will improve efficiency and effectiveness of the local authorities and align the Act with objectives of decentralization and devolution of powers that our democratic constitution demands. The Act will create a supportive environment for a more meaningful and effective political engagement of women, men and youth. This is vital for the success of local governance in our democratizing Malawi.” Mulomole stated.
The local government amendment bill (2015) seeks to amend some provisions in the current Act which are not in line with the principles of democracy in Malawi. Among the provisions is the issue of members of Parliament voting at local council meetings, the appointment of District Commissioners by the minister, the inclusion of women and the youth in local government activities. PAC is lobbying for the exclusion of members of Parliament voting at the local council and that councils should have the mandate to hire all skilled staff including District Commissioners.
He asked the media personnel whom he categorized as the fourth arm of the government to play a critical role in making sure that the general public understands the message PAC is fighting for. “As long as the citizens remain and do not demand from their representatives what belongs to them, these members of parliament and other elected political gurus will ignore you, dear media practitioners, civil society organisations” Mulomole warned.
The seminar was a follow up to a November 2016 meeting and the aim was to assess the commitments the practitioners made in November 2016 and work out the challenges. The media practitioners made commitments to advocate for the adoption of the amendments. The seminar concluded on Tuesday with commitments from the media practitioners to advocate for the adoption of the amendments.