11 December 2017
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Sunday, 26 November 2017 13:31

Qualified staff critical in championing decentralization process – expert

Written by  Mary Makhiringa

Balaka, November 26, 2017: Qualified and competent personnel are said to be crucial attributes for people working in different local council in the country to facilitate smooth implementation of the decentralization process, an expert has observed.

Speaking during a decentralization workshop for reporters in Liwonde on Friday, Chief Decentralization Officer at Local Government Accountability Program (LGAP), Winston Khamula said qualified staff was a prerequisite to championing the decentralization process.

He observed that in many district councils across the country most of the posts were handled by people who are just in acting capacity hence do not have the much needed expertise in the specific field.

“This is derailing the decentralization process as most of the times these people require a greater supervision and most often before making decisions they confer with other people although they could have made a decision on their own,” Khamula noted.

District Commissioner for Balaka, Rodrick Mateauma in an interview with Malawi News Agency  was quick to point out that in Balaka there has been great change considering that the number of officers working in acting position has been reduced.

“Let me acknowledge the fact that having unskilled staff in the councils is indeed derailing the process of decentralization. I will tell you that people working in acting positions try hard to impress but many times don’t have the clout in making independent decisions. This means that the DC has the final decision always,” The DC explained.

Mateauma said in the case of Balaka District Council such positions like that of the Director of Planning and Development, Director of Administration were with people in acting capacity and that were taken from various professions just to close the gaps.

“Much as may not have problems with how they work, but the fact that they are acting leaves a lot to be desired as their core profession suffers as they try to impress in the acting position,” he added.

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