Activist says councils need educated councillors


One of the governance activists in the country says most districts in this country will remain underdeveloped due to ignorance of ward councillors.

Unandi Banda of National Elections System Trust (NEST) told Malawi24 in interview that since Members of Parliament shot down electoral reforms, uneducated people will continue to lead councils.

Banda: There is need to set minimum qualification.

He said for things to be fine in the district councils in the next term, there is need to set minimum qualification which could enable councillors understand technical issues.

“Those qualifications which were in the electoral reforms rebuffed by our National Assembly were put in order to enable people aspiring for positions to be people who can have skills of doing an oversight on behalf of communities.

“They may be people who can argue with technicians in the offices for instance on financial reports and in that way technicians would be handling money which come from treasury to the councils properly,” he said.

Banda added that: “For sure this would save money which comes from treasury to district councils.”

According to Banda, the proposed electoral reforms state that minimum qualification for councillors should be Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) unlike the current status where a candidate is only required to be able to read and write English.

Meanwhile, Banda has advised opposition political parties to take advantage of this situation and make the reforms their campaign issue for the forthcoming tripartite elections scheduled for May, next year.

“My prayer is that some political parties in this country will take up issues of reforms as a campaign issue and really will vote based on reinstating the electoral reforms if voted into power,” concluded Banda.