Chiefs and Members of Parliament (MPs) boycotted council deliberations in Nkhotakota on Friday after council chair refused to incorporate some issues which the chiefs and MPs felt needed urgent attention.
The chiefs namely Traditional Authorities Mphonde, Kalimanjira, Kanyenda, Mwansambo and Senior Chief Mwadzama as well as Sub T/A Nkhanga.
Nkhotakota South East constituency legislator Makowa Mwale and MP for Nkhotakota Central Constituency Peter Mazizi also left the chamber because they felt disrespected by the councillors who prioritise the council elections instead of also giving room for the chamber to discuss the said agendas.
Traditional Authority Mwansambo said Nkhotakota district is failing to develop due to some duty bearers such as councillors whose main interest is to make money for their own gain instead of dealing with challenges that people in their areas are facing.
Among others, the chiefs and parliamentarians said they wanted the council chair to give them an update on the disappearance of 13 cars belonging to Nkhotakota District Hospital which they say are missing thus causing mobility challenges for people seeking medical attention at the facility. They also wanted the council to discuss sanitation issues that have emerged at the hospital due to water disconnection.
Taking his turn, Member of Parliament for Nkhotakota central constituency Peter Mazizi added that though the Local Government Act does not allow people to discuss other issues during an elective Full Council Meeting, they thought of doing so since most of these issues are crucial and need urgent attention.
“Each time we ask for a full council meeting, they tell us they do not have money but problems are still pilling up which need immediate attention that’s why we thought of using this platform to try and address them so that people’s lives are saved at the hospital,” said Mazizi.
On his part, Acting District Commissioner for Nkhotakota Greystone Alindiamawo said the council is aware of the issues but cannot comment on them because there are investigations over allegations that some council officials misappropriated funds which resulted in the district Commissioner Felix Mkandawire being suspended.