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Mzuzu Mayor hits at Nankhumwa, Mhango

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Mayor for Mzuzu City, Councillor William Mkandawire, has hit back at Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa and Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango for their recent remarks that the Council was extravagant by sending some officials to Blantyre in December to attend a Malawi Broadcasting Corporation function.

Mkandawire further attacked Nankhumwa for suggesting that the ministry would discipline him for travelling to China last year without permission.

On the MBC function, Nankhumwa said the officers could have used one or two vehicles in the name of austerity measures. Mhango on the other hand described the conduct of the city bosses as crazy and extravagant.

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For both trips, the Council released funds which the ministers and other commentators felt would have been put to better use since the Council is currently struggling financially.

But Mkandawire fumed at the full council meeting last Friday where he made scathing attacks on Nankhumwa and Mhango.

“Just last weekend we were also labelled bad for attending an MBC function in Blantyre. Can travelling in different vehicles be a crime? Everybody knows that I, the Chief Executive Officer, and directors are entitled to vehicles. Did you expect us to travel in one vehicle?

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“Do the ministers share their vehicles with Principal Secretaries? When did you see a minister boarding one vehicle with other officials from the ministry when they are going to attend functions? Why us? That is not fair and let this honourable house know that we are now limited in doing many things because of such pressure,” said Mkandawire.

On the China trip, Mkandawire emptied his chest: “It is very unfortunate that this Council is known as the worst Council that mismanages its funds compared to others councils in the country. I was first in the papers that my trip to China was fruitless and the ministry did not permit us to travel.

“I do not know why some other people who did not go were the first to criticize us. We learnt very important strategies concerning good governance and how local governments run their affairs. We were surprised upon our return to note that the ministry was not happy with us. It was not only us who went there but also Lilongwe and Blantyre councils. Why only us? And it is only us who got the least allowances from the Council compared to our friends.”

As the Mayor explained, the majority of the councillors hid their faces and stole glances at journalist present in the chamber.

Some councillors were overheard saying in low voices: “s imunat iuze pochoka… . mmaopa kukhomeleredwa kapena… (You did not inform us about the trip….may be you feared we would block the trip).

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