Mzuzu — CCAP Synod of Livingstonia's Church and Society on Wednesday proposed to government to consider ploughing back development fees it gets from city, town and district councils for meaningful development to take place at local levels.
Speaking on Wednesday in Mzuzu during the second pre-budget consultation meeting, Executive Director for Church and Society, Moses Mkandawire said local councils should stop sending money to the central government.
He said continued remittance of funds from cities, towns and district councils to central government has left the three local government establishments with little resources to operate with, which has led to underdevelopment.
"We have noted in the past that as long as town, district as well as city councils remit the money they get in their respective jurisdictions to central government, it might be used to develop other areas instead of where the funds were collected.
"I would, therefore, propose that in this year's national budget, let these local government authorities use the development funds they get through land and rental charges to be used within their vicinities," said Mkandawire.
He said for instance, Mzuzu City solicits a lot of funds but end up being used elsewhere disregarding the city.
"If we continue with the current trend, we will end up having cities, towns and district councils that remain underdeveloped for ages since it is difficult for authorities who stay in Lilongwe to identify development needs of particular districts, towns and cities," said Mkandawire.
He asked government to have audits at the end of each financial year, saying in the past six years there have been delays or no budget audits at all.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha said the consultation team was grateful with inputs from various quarters.
"We are taking note of all these inputs and we promise that they will be considered since we know that they are coming from the people that will use the budget. We want this to be a people's budget," he said.