Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture together with the Ministry of Finance on Saturday and Sunday engaged Members of Parliament to consider using development funds for implementation of flagship projects in all constituencies.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture Richard Chimwendo Banda said Members of Parliament should understand the idea of prioritizing the available resources and making sure they are channelled towards flagship projects rather than spreading the resources thinly to small projects that have less impact on the locals.
“We are talking about complete projects. If we are talking about building a school block we should also think about desks, we should also think about teachers houses and also toilets. These are what we are calling completed projects other than just stand alone projects and we are saying the funds that we get, local development fund, GSED, CDF and any other support they should work together, we should be able to bring those resources together not necessarily in one basket but as we plan we should be able to see how they can complement each other to make sure that we serve Malawians,” explained Chimwendo.
Chimwendo hinted that it is very important for MPs when they are designing development projects to look at completed projects which they are calling them flagship projects, projects that as a country we can be able to point out.
“But again we are also saying it may not be necessary all the time to spread development funds that we have. Sometimes, if you bring the development funds together, 2 or 3 constituences can unite and come up with something tangible a rural hospital, a health centre a maternity wing that actually reaches out to all the constituences and then they can be rotating each and every passing year. The aim is to make sure that we have projects that we can show or projects that have an impact at the end of the day,” said Chimwendo.
In her remarks, Chairperson for the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament who is also MP for Nsanje Lalanje Gladys Ganda said the meeting was very critical because it centered on making sure that they have flagship projects, coming up with projects that will benefit Malawians better.
“So being a participant I think I have gained a lot in the sense that from Nsanje district council we should be in a position to sit down and agree that the projects that we want to do as Nsanje district council. But it is also important that you notice that Honourable members also complained about some councils being political. You may be agreeing on one project and someone else may decide to only do that project in one area so that’s a thing that we need to go back and discuss and make sure whatever resources that are there are for the betterment of the Malawi people
” Therefore it’s a good discussion that we have had with the Ministry of Local Government and also Minister of Finance and the discussion the resolutions that have come from this meeting will be put to good use for the betterment of the country,” said Ganda.
Commenting on the same, Member of Parliament for Mzimba South Emmanuel Jere said the meeting was very critical and an eye opener to them as Members of Parliament and through the meeting they have learnt that at least they need to change their mindset when it comes to development projects.
“I will give you an example of Mzimba, we have 10 MPs and we are receiving about K1 billion per year for development CDF only. This means that as members of parliament we need to sit down and see how best we can utilize these funds more especially coming up with flagship projects, projects that will be there, projects that will have major impact for the people that’s why this meeting has been so critical it has been an eye opener for us and coming from here we really need to sit down and restrategize and see that we can progress that way,” said Jere.
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