The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust in Chikwawa has started orienting shadow Councillors on their roles in ensuring good governance at Local Assemblies.
The exercise is being done through public debates the Trust has organised ahead of next month’s tripartite elections.
According to NICE Trust district civic education officer for Chikwawa, Josephy Chamambala, most Councillors in the country are not aware of their roles and that is why they do not perform to the expectation of the general public hence the need to equip them with essential skills to enable them deliver to the expected outcomes.
Chamambala was speaking over the weekend at Changoima Admarc ground in traditional authority (T/A) Chapananga when the Trust organised public debate for shadow Councillors of Chimwanjale Ward in Chikwawa West Constituency.
He added that the bitter relationship that was prevalent in the past five years between Ward Councillors and MPs was due to lack of separation of roles of Ward Councillors from those of MPs.
He said most councillors are not aware that they have a role of ensuring that local revenues are not abused at the District Councils.
Chamambala continued by saying Councillors can promote local governance structure in the local Assemblies by formulating by-laws governing local assembles.
“There is generally lack of misunderstanding of the roles that councillors are expected to play at the Local Councils. This results to poor working relationships between Councillors and MPs and hence there is need to orient them of their roles”, said Chamambala.
On his part, DPP’s shadow Councillor for Chimwanjale Ward Kennedy Mtseka said once elected, he shall stick to his roles and work hand in hand with an MP who shall be elected.
However, group village head man Changoima complained that poor working relationship that existed between the outgoing MP for the area Kennedy Maluwa and his Ward Councillor Dyson Manjolo affected progress of development projects in the area and he said he expects that things will change with the upcoming MP and his Ward Councillor.
NICE Trust has been conducting public debates for Parliamentary candidates and Ward Councillors as a way of helping local citizens to choose best candidates in the upcoming general elections.