Malawi: Ntchisi DC Cleared of Wrongdoing - Jimusole Pleased

Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) has cleared Ntchisi district commissioner (DC) Peter Jimusole of any wrongdoing following a probe into developments that led to demonstrations against him.

A group calling itself citizens of Ntchisi on April 29 this year conducted a peaceful march to the district council offices where they presented a petition demanding the removal of the DC over what they described as maladministration in the way he runs the council's operations.

This prompted the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to send the DC on a 14-day leave pending investigations.

MHRRC consultant Desmond Kaunda said the findings were made in consultations with members of Parliament, chiefs, councillors, some members of staff at the council secretariat and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Principal Secretary.

Presenting the findings to stakeholders, he cited a number of factors such as politicisation of council business, resistance to change and poor communication between the DC's office and other stakeholders as factors that led to the misunderstandings.

Reads the statement in part: "Betrayal of people's trust and confidence, frequent transfers of DCs, delays in procurement processes, outdated/expired development planning documents as well as limited devolution of functions led to the misunderstandings."

MHRRC executive director Emma Kaliya justified her organisations' interest to conduct the study, saying it is implementing Enhancing Citizen Voice and Action in Development and Governance Process Project in the district financed by the Danish Church Aid.

"We want to see Ntchisi move forward in terms of service delivery," she said.

Jimusole said he was pleased that the findings have cleared him of any wrongdoing and recommended further independent investigations so that people know the truth.

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