Efforts to have Local Government Act reformed seems to have hit the wall as Members of Parliament (MPs) in Malawi are not happy with the amendments, a development that has frustrated the Public Affairs Committee (PAC).
PAC in partnership with other stakeholders geared on having the 2010 Local Government Act reformed following challenges faced in councils.
The proposed changes include inclusion of MPs as voting members of the council, a development that sparked fights between ward councillors and lawmakers.
The amended act also seeks to clear mist on the roles of legislators and ward councillors as MPs have in the past been accused of taking the role of councillors of spearheading development activities using Constituency Development Funds (CDF).
The delay to have the changes being tabled in Parliament has annoyed PAC which has faulted the MPs saying the legislators want to have total control over CDF.
Speaking in an interview with Malawi24, PAC publicity secretary Father Peter Mulomole said the delay is blocking efficiency and effectiveness of the local authorities and alignment of objectives of decentralization and devolution of powers that Malawi’s democratic constitution demands.
“We are a bit frustrated so to speak that things ourselves know to be obvious to be constitutional are not appreciated, this is frustrating to the nation,” said Mulomole.
He further urged Malawians to add to the voice to have the bill amended arguing the bill will help prevent financial mismanagement in councils.
“As long as the citizens remain quiet and do not demand from their elected representatives what belongs to them, the latter will definitely ignore you, Malawians have to know that they are the real ‘Bwanas’ and ‘Donas’ in a democracy,” he added.
Meanwhile cabinet ministers are yet to review the proposed amendment.