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Mzuzu City Council eyes government bailout

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Mzuzu City Council (MCC) has resolved to engage the government, through Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe, to bail it out of the K600 million debt it is struggling to settle.

Debts have paralysed operations of the council which has, in the last three months, been failing to pay its workers.

During deliberations of a full council meeting, councillors revealed that MCC would need about a year to normalise the situation.

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Vice Chairperson of the Finance Committee, Mzilaingwe Ward Councillor Fraser Chunga, proposed that the full council should agree to ask the government to support the council as it focuses on regaining financial momentum.

“Let us humble ourselves and approach the [central] government for support. We will not be the only ones; other institutions are doing the same when under panic like us,” Chunga said.

Chunga’s proposal was supported by Masasa Ward Councillor, Yona Mkandawire.

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Mkandawire said the council can no longer put economic challenges it is facing under wraps.

“Sheriffs are biting us left and right. We are failing to breathe because of these debts. Why should we keep on crying while the Minister of Finance is our son from the region and we can easily meet him and share [news about] our problems?” Mkandawire queried.

Taking his turn, Charles Kajoloweka, who represents the youth in the chamber, said it is possible to be assisted by the central government.

“We are talking about K4 billion surplus which Minister of Finance once told Parliament that the government has. He can support us with the same money and we can change things at the council,” Kajoloweka said.

But, speaking in interview on Tuesday, MCC Chief Executive Officer, Macloud Kadammnja, said the resolution is yet to be endorsed.

Kadammanja said the council is supposed to first collect over K1 billion which some people and institutions owe it.

Kadamanja also said the K600 million figure which was announced in the meeting is not a true reflection of things on the ground.

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