Chakwera Dares LL City
By Matthews Kasanda
President Lazarus Chakwera has challenged Lilongwe City Council (LCC) to be vigilant in enforcing bylaws and regulations to set itself out as a clean, green and prosperous city.
The President had an interface with the city’s councillors and management members yesterday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe where, among other topics, they discussed challenges the city is facing in executing its duties.
Chakwera further called on duty-bearers to ensure that the capital was “a city that is welcoming”. “We must have the best ethics. We should all work together to make sure that Lilongwe is truly the capital city of Malawi,” said Chakwera who in his remarks strived to respond to all the issues LCC Chief Executive Officer John Chome, Mayor Juliana Kaduya and councillors presented to him. The President hailed the council for acknowledging that the city “does not look the way it is supposed to” and commended it for outlining a number of projects aimed at bringing sanity to the city. Chome and Kaduya cited lack of firefighting equipment and waste collection vehicles as some of the challenges hampering service delivery.
Kaduya said failure to properly discharge waste was was exacerbating the problem of air and water pollution.
On his part, Chome stated that LCC was owed K11 billion in city arrears, thereby negatively affecting service delivery. He said the city funded its own budget by up to 89 percent, with the Central Government providing the remaining 11 percent. From this budget, he said, the city wanted to install lights in streets.
“Lilongwe is a dark city but we are working towards changing that,” he assured the President.
Lilongwe City has a population of 1.2 million, with 65 percent of its people living in informal sectors. Earlier in the day, new Zimbabwe High Commissioner to Malawi Nancy Saungweme presented her letters of credence to Chakwera at the same venue. Speaking after the meeting, Saungweme said they discussed ways of strengthening diplomatic ties between the two nations, bearing in mind that there are many Malawians staying in Zimbabwe while some Zimbabweans are in Malawi. She further said one of the areas they dwelled on was trade between the two nations.
“There are a lot of companies from Zimbabwe here in Malawi and a lot of companies in Zimbabwe [that are] from Malawi. So, let us strengthen that and make sure we help each other economically,” she said.