Tonse seeks to remove rigidities in councils

Vice President Saulos Chilima says the Tonse Alliance administration wants councils to become effective and efficient so that they can execute plans such as establishment of secondary cities.

Chilima who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Public Sector Reforms made the remarks on Monday after engaging local councils on Public Sector Reforms.

The vice president met officials from Kasungu Municipal, Kasungu District Council, Nkhotakota District Council, Salima District Council and Mchinji District Council.

Officials from local councils

He said the reforms aims to reposition and prepare councils to effectively and efficiently execute the provision of service delivery to the people of Malawi.

“It is the goal of this administration to establish secondary cities that would have village industries, processing plants and organized markets, a concept that His Excellency has tasked the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms and Ministry of Local Government to implement with urgency.

“For this to happen, we expect the councils to identify areas that will drive their financial sustainability and improve service delivery with the aim of improving livelihoods of Malawians,” said Chilima.

He said the councils have plans for revenue generation, which if prioritised, could move them from over dependency on central government to self-sustainability.

The reform areas touch on promotion of tourism, innovations in revenue collection systems and expanding revenue base.

“I have emphasised to specific councils to leverage tourism. For example, Nkhotakota has seven lakes and a game reserve which if promoted would create opportunities for expansion into water transport and sustainable fishing,” he said.

He, however, noted that the issue of poor local revenue collection is common among the councils even though they were able to identify areas for improving revenue generation.

Chilima then urged the councils to ensure that the plans on paper are reflected in healthy coffers and improved service delivery.