Tension at Lilongwe District Council



There is tension at Lilongwe District Council (LDC) following councillors’ decision that Director of Planning and Development (DPD), Douglas Moffat, should be transferred to another council.

The councillors accuse him of making unilateral decisions. They have further accused the Local Government Service Commission of not assisting them on the issue.


LDC Chairperson, John Kawinga, said in an interview that all efforts to rectify the problem have proved futile.

“The Director of Planning and Development has been a major concern to us. He is not respecting decisions of the council’s service committees. Whenever we make resolutions, he defies them.

“The Local Government Service Commission, instead of assisting us, has said he should report for work again. Why should they impose on us someone we are saying is not assisting us? That is not fair,” Kawinga said.


Local Government Service Commission Executive Secretary, Juvensius Kumpata, said they decided to mediate on the issue after Lilongwe District Commissioner, Lawford Palani, wrote his office.

He attributed the current stand-off to the negative attitude of the councillors.

“We went there to meet the people concerned but the councillors have surprised me. We have settled disputes in many councils involving staff and councillors, but what has happened in Lilongwe is very different. No matter what we told them, they insisted that Mr Moffat should be transferred. They said we should not discuss anything about him,” Kumpata said.

He said the commission resolved that Moffat should go back to work. The Daily Times has seen a letter, dated July 24 2018, from the Local Government Service Commission to Palani, informing him about the decision of the commission.

In the letter, Kumpata says, having gone through the letter Palani wrote the commission on May 28 2018, and examined the allegations against Moffat, there was a meeting with the councillors.

He says what transpired during the meeting was that the councillors did not have substantive issues to warrant a decision to transfer Moffat.

“It was clear from their utterances that the councillors had a personal vendetta against the officer arising from his strong stand on the need to follow guidelines and council resolutions in the execution of council business,” the letter reads.

Moffat could not be reached on his mobile phone for his comment on the allegations the councillors are making while Palani could not pick his phone on several attempts.

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