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Saulos Chilima wants reformed, innovative councils

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Vice President Saulos Chilima has challenged district and city councils to think outside the box and come up with game-changing reforms to improve service delivery at the district level.

Chilima, and the Public Service Reforms Commission, which he chairs, are this week meeting Southern Region district and city councils in Blantyre to help them come up with reforms that can help turn around their performance.

The exercise is also coming at a time when there is public outcry that the councils have become a breeding ground for corruption and inefficiency.

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Principal Secretary for the Public Sector Reforms, Nwazi Nthambala, said Chilima and the commissioners are challenging the councils to come up with real reforms that will improve the performance of their respective districts in various sectors.

“The format is that the councils are outlining their proposed reforms and then the commission is giving input, and suggestions which will then be consolidated over time and then forward the tangible reform areas to the President for approval,” said Nthambala.

The commission is also encouraging the councils to operate with business professionalism as well, urging them to reveal if there is political interference affecting service delivery.

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Nthambala said, overall, the lack of necessary reforms in the councils have seen them failing to implement key mandates resulting in low revenue collection, inefficient service delivery and unexploited tourism potential among others.

Yesterday, the commision met Blantyre District Council, Blantyre City Council, Phalombe District Council and Chiradzulu District Council and is expected to meet 13 more by Friday.

The decision by the commission to engage the councils follows a similar exercise with parastatals, a development that brought positive result with, for example, Airport Development Limited which has upped its revenue collection by 300 percent after bringing in reforms such as automated car park at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.

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