Lilongwe City Mayor Councillor Dr Desmond Bikoko says he feels home, relaxed and comfortable after his decision to join the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
In an exclusive interview, Bikoko said his conscience is clear that the decision of joining DPP is not against any will or against anybody as some people have wanted others to believe.
“I am development conscious and I had to make strategic decision in terms of development for the City of Lilongwe. Leaders must be visionary and bold to make the toughest decisions to get the results they want. With joint developmental efforts between Lilongwe City Council and Malawi Government we can get much more done,” said Dr Bikoko.
Commenting on the ten point plan called My City, My Vision, Bikoko said it will be simple now to implement the plan.
The Mayor said he promised residents of Lilongwe to focus on ten key areas.
He noted that in 10 months as mayor, despite obvious challenges, the council has reviewed all city by-laws and has drafted new ones, completed auditing of the City Council accounts for the past 10 years, and gazzetted the New Lilongwe Master Plan and Development of the Successor Lilongwe City Development Strategy (2016-2022).
The council has also maintained streetlights and implemented the Lumbadzi sewer rehabilitation projects.
The council has also introduced the Keep Lilongwe City Clean and Green campaign.
“To promote partnership with government institutions and outsourcing of some services where council lacks capacity. We have completed the adopt a street program and signed an MOU with Director of Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety services in enforcing traffic bylaws functional review in order to harmonize organizational structures,” said Dr Bikoko.
“Nothing has changed. Early into my tenure I made the decisions to sit down with all key stakeholders including politicians. Challenges came from within where I faced a lot of resistance but government stepped in to assist and some staff members were removed from the system.”
On assertions that he left MCP because of frustrations, due to lack of recognition from the party, Bikoko said it is true that some members of MCP were militant but he was quick to say that he never sought special recognition from MCP.
“In January after becoming Mayor, I met Dr. Chakwera at his residence and put it to him that as Mayor, I would have to work with government and he fully understood. Since then, I have stayed away from most MCP political rallies. If I was seeking special recognition, I would have used my status as Mayor to appear at every rally Dr. Chakwera held. Again this goes to tell you how ignorant those who make such assertions are. The problem is that we tend to believe much of the junk we read from social media,’ said Bikoko.