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Wednesday, 20 May 2020 10:17

Local councils urged to develop positive attitude towards development

Written by  Yamikani Yapuwa

Blantyre, May 20, 2020: Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Phiri has challenged District Commissioners (DCs) and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to develop positive attitude towards development for the councils to thrive.

 

Phiri made the challenge on Monday in Blantyre when he opened a two-day technical meeting for DCs, CEOs and Directors of Finance organised by the National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC).

 

The minister observed that as controlling officers, DCs and CEOs have to manage situations and solve problems within their respective councils effectively.

 

“With decentralisation, government functions have been devolved to councils and all sectors within the council are under the District Commissioner.

 

“If the DCs are not being positive managers, then there will be chaos in the councils. I strongly believe that it is only when we have positive managers that it is going to work,” he said.

 

“Secondly, these are individuals that are facing challenges every day. Some of the challenges are to do with strikes and demands from people such that if we don’t develop positive attitude towards work, they are going to throw the towel,” Phiri said.

 

He added that each and every council has what it takes to register success such that DCs and CEOs need to identify the challenges people are facing and come up with solutions to the problems.

 

“Moreover, you have to learn to identify talents within the councils and make use of such talents by nurturing them.

 

“Do not hinder people from exposing their talents; let them add positively to the development of the councils,” said Phiri.

 

On some officers opting to stay away from their duty stations, Phiri said the ministry would take action, saying councils need people who are available and serve at their duty stations all the time.

 

“I have learnt that some officers do not stay at the councils they were posted to and it is sad because every council must be serviced by officers.

 

“You are aware that there is high vacancy rate and that unemployment is also huge. Ironically, people always look for employment but when hired and sent to councils, they don’t want to report or they report just to be getting the money, which is stealing in a way,” said the minister..

 

He therefore asked for reports from all local councils on such officers so that action is taken.

 

The minister said as a ministry, they would look at the clauses on the employment offers that they get to make sure that if one is posted to councils, they must be there to serve the council.

 

District Commissioner for Chiradzulu, Reinghard Chavula said the technical meeting would enable the DCs to learn and share best practices. He said through that, they would be able to implement some changes in their respective councils.

 

“This meeting is beneficial to us as DCs. From this workshop, we are reviewing a lot of issues in our local revenue collection, management of councils and how the councils are responding to audit issues.

 

“With that, we will go back and make sure that we revise and implement the changes that need to be implemented in the councils,” said Chavula.