National Records and Archives Services abandoned

By Synd Kalimbuka

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Dr Michael Usi on Thursday visited National Archives headquarters where he noted that the institution has one vehicle operating the whole Malawi, its headquarters was painted over 6 years ago and it is not adequately funded.

Usi wondered how people expect such a department to preserve the treasure of the country and operate effectively.

He described National Records and Archives Services as a place of great value as it hinges on crosscutting issues of national development.

Dr Usi who did not know anything about this department until he visited to appreciate its value, said there is a need to fully fund it and make use of the services for Malawi to develop.

“The department keeps the most important historical services for Malawi which can be used today to achieve our future development agenda,” he said.

He added that even the Lake Malawi wrangle between Malawi and Tanzania on ownership and boundaries would be resolved amicably if the two countries made use of this office.

“The office would provide detailed information on where Germany and Britain made boundaries regarding lake Malawi,” said Usi.

On why the services are regarded as useless to Malawians, he said lack of knowledge on its importance had for many years government not made full use of resources information found there hence providing low funding.

However, Usi urged officers to make proper strategies on how they can market their services to attract more funds from government, partners and international donors.

“One of the best way to market yourself is use of the media to reach many people with viable strategies,” he added.

The minister also visited Tourism office in the district which shares the same office within national archives office because it doesn’t have an office in the district covering Zomba, Machinga and Balaka.

Director of National Records and Archives Services Paul Lihoma said despite the challenges the office face, it is of great value to the national socio economic development.

Lihoma said what remains is to support the office and make use of information to national development.

He believes that the visit by the minister will bear fruits especially by considering the office with resources and expand the office.

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