Nkhata Bay — Nkhata Bay District Commissioner Fred Movete says the absence of local Government system deters development in a country as there is inadequate participation from the grass root communities.
He was speaking during an extraordinary meeting of newly elected members of the district council held on Monday. Among other things, the councilors took oath of office and elected the council chairperson and deputy.
The DC reminded councilors that, like other districts in the country, Nkhata Bay needs good roads, schools, hospitals and even good bridges for the communities to have access to their needs.
"If there is no local government [system] there is no development. Communities need safe drinking water, schools, health facilities, good roads and other developments but without councillors it is in vain," said Movete.
Among other duties, councilors have the responsibility to mobilize communities to articulate their needs and participate in the implementation of projects of their choice.
The local government system in Malawi draws its mandate from section 146 of the Constitution and the Local Government Act of 1998.
Both the Constitution and the Act specifically mandate local councils to promote infrastructure and economic development within their area.
Movete said the coming of councilors is expected to enhance development in the district that is initiated from the grass root as required by the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi and Local Government Act 1998.
"It is now good that we have councilors. That means in all the districts, towns and cities, we have full district, town or city councils," he said.
During the meeting, Chikwina Ward Councilor, Faston Theu was elected as Chairperson of Nkhata Bay District Chairperson while Esau Chinyimba of Mbamba Ward was elected his deputy.
In his acceptance speech, Theu applauded his fellow councilors for giving him the mantle to lead the council, saying he is just a driver and there is need to work together.
"A leader is just a driver but we just have to work together to develop our district. As ward councilors, we have come from different political parties but I urge you to forget about party politics," said Theu, appealing to fellow councilors to work as a team.