A recent Public Affairs Committee (PAC) interface with the media in Malawi has put to light a number of issues including that a great number of MPs dodge to pass important bills deliberately in parliament resulting in delay of development in communities.
Speaking during two-day PAC training workshop for male and female media practitioners on proposed Local Government Act Amendments (LGA)in Mponela Board Treasure for PAC Bishop Flord Matonga observe that there are three sticky issues that needs to be addressed in a proposed LGA before passed into law.
He said: “none the less, reflection that MPs will be voting in Councils and that Council staff will be appointed by the Local Government Service Commission shows that:MPs are more likely to capture and dominate the proceedings, in Council meetings and thereby overshadow the views of democratically elected local government officials,recruitment of the District Commissioners or Chief Executive Officers and absence of gender mainstreaming provisions in the act are of critical significance to be amended”
He therefore described the development (dodge to pass critical bills) as setback in implementation and enactment of LG A to the country’s development.
He therefore urged journalist to effectively report on the matters affecting people at grass root development so as Malawi can progress on local development.
In a separate interview, Kelious Mlenga who is a consultant and author of the LGA draft bill called on the Ministry of Justice to immediately amend the bill before passing into law ahead of next parliamentary sessions.
According to him, the bill seeks to amend the Local Government Act, Cap.22:01 of laws of Malawi in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the local authorities and to align the Act with objectives of decentralization as stipulated in the Decentralization Policy, 1998.
Mlenga warned MPs to avoid unnecessary tactical delays when addressing matter of public interest, saying this hinder local government project at all levels of government machinery.
Commenting on the same Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development representative D Mkweta also ask electorates to demand viable development from the Councillors as one way to ensure acountability to their electorates.
He therefore expressed concern that if Malawi is to progress its activities at local government there is a need to go back to the Local Government Act of 1998, whichgive power Council to appoint Head of the Council. This is of paramount importance as itensures that there is complementarity between local and central government so that local councils act within the stated national policies and problems of the government.