Some Members of Parliament (MPs) in Nkhotakota have expressed concern that the district may continue lagging behind in development if full council meetings are not conducted regularly as is the case now.
Speaking during an interface meeting which Nkhotakota Youth Organisation held with various duty bearers in the district on Thursday, the MPs said it is becoming worrisome that full council members are not meeting to plan and discuss development activities.
“Full council meetings are where we engage technocrats to discuss development issues but you will note that since the beginning of this year, we have not met. Each time we ask for these meetings, the response is that the council has no money. If we cannot meet, then how can we carry out development works?” said Nkhotakota Central Constituency parliamentarian Peter Mazizi.
The Malawi Congress Party lawmaker also accused council officials of lacking seriousness in their operations and being entangled in political conflicts.
The full council members met last September and since then, they have been having extraordinary full council meetings where only specific agendas are discussed.
Lack of the meetings means that last year’s financial reports from council secretariat and development committees have not been presented this year before the full council members.
Nkhotakota South East MP, Everson Makowa- Mwale, said failing to call for council meetings can be interpreted that someone is running away from answering questions.
“How can the district operate if the council is not meeting to deliberate on some of the projects? Maybe some people are trying to run away from explaining how they have used the development funds,” said Makowa-Mwale.
Nkhotakota Council Chairperson, Manfred Kwanjiwa, attributed the problem to financial hiccups the council is facing.
“We have so many outstanding debts at the council such that when we have money, we end up paying sheriffs, so it is indeed difficult to call for a full council meeting,” said Kwanjiwa.
Through its project of ‘enhancing youth participation in governance structures’, Nkhotakota Youth Organisation is empowering youths to engage their duty bearers on issues of development.
On the day, the youth had a field day in asking the duty bearers pertinent questions concerning development activities in the district.
The organisation’s Project Officer Andrew Masoakhumbira said he was pleased that the project has empowered youths who can now rise and confront their leaders on development issues.
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