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City councils are rooted in corruption—Chakwera

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President Lazarus Chakwera has observed that corruption is deep-rooted in Local Government institutions, citing councils.

Speaking on Monday at a City Council Conference which Mzuzu City Council (MCC), organised, Chakwera warned that his administration will crack the whip on corrupt officials.

“Everyone must pull up. Everyone must work hard and smart. We must maintain our integrity. No more corruption in our councils. No more corruption in giving pieces of land and awarding of contracts. No more corruption in the manner we do business,” Chakwera said.

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The First Citizen vowed to “clean” cities and rid them of corruption. He said this was key to wooing investors, who would, in turn, create job opportunities and contribute to national development efforts.

But Chakwera warned that his administration would not be jumping at every opportunity to bail councils out of financial challenges, saying only business-oriented projects would be prioritised.

“If we do this, we will serve money, time, and a lot of sweat ourselves,” Chakwera said.

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MCC has debt amounting to K1.8 billion.

Mzuzu City Mayor, Councillor Kondwani Brian Nyasulu, said the meeting with the President had taught them that they can think outside the box.

Nyasulu also said Chakwera had advised council chiefs on the need to embrace mindset change.

“What we wanted was that the government should support us with some funds so that we can clear the debts. We are saying the money will not be freebies; we are going to pay back. We are saying so because we know that, once our debts are cleared, we are going to have a good foundation of putting up infrastructure and inviting investors that will help us boost our local economy,” Nyasulu said.

The meeting attracted councillors from all the 15 wards, legislators and directors.

Chakwera left Mzuzu City Tuesday morning, after five days of performing official duties.

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