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Likoma, Neno to be gazetted by December

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Hadrod Mkandawire

The government has disclosed that it has started processes of gazetting Likoma and Neno district councils.

Likoma was declared a district in 1999 while Neno became one in 2003.

Local Government Minister Blessings Chinsinga told The Daily Times that the target is December this year.

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Chinsinga said, once the two districts are gazetted, a process that has seen the ministry working with the Ministry of Justice, they will legally become district councils.

He added that Likoma and Neno have the potential to develop easily through tourism and agriculture, hence legalising them will help open more doors.

“We are working on this and should be done by the close of the year and, very shortly, the two districts will be properly gazetted as district councils,” Chinsinga said.

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Malawi Local Government Association (Malga) Executive Director Hadrod Mkandawire asked the two ministries to fast track the process.

“We, as Malga, would like to commend the Ministry of Local Government for initiating the process of ensuring that the two councils become legally constituted but our expectations are that the process should be concluded before the said time. We are urging people who have been given the responsibility to stick to the deadline set by the minister,” Mkandawire said.

Likoma District Council Chairperson Barnabas Sambamo said people from Likoma and Chizumulu believe that the two islands are not developing because the council does not exist legally.

Sambamo said he hopes that, once it is gazetted, the government will fill vacancies at the council and would also construct a district hospital.

“In fact, we did not know that we do not exist legally and we thank the government for the process it has initiated. It is our hope that this will be done; otherwise, this is what we have been waiting for,” Sambamo said.

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