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Vacancy rate cripples council operations

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By Samuel Kalimira:

UPBEAT — Mughogho

Nkhata Bay District Council has said vacancies for senior positions at the council are crippling the council’s operations and performance.

The council says all departments have directors working on acting basis and that may make holders not work as per expected.

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Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Thursday, Nkhata Bay District Commissioner Rodney Simwaka said the officers have overstayed on the positions.

He said Nkhata Bay District Council has already declared some positions vacant and submitted requirements to government through Ministry of Local Government for the responsible commission to advertise the posts.

“Positions are meant to provide services to the people and if those positions are vacant, it means they are not providing services to the people as required. We have people acting on those positions but they may not perform to the standards required and expected as public officer. Obviously, that affects service delivery to the people,” Simwaka said.

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Ministry of Local Government spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho said the ministry is aware of the vacancies in the council but said recruitment exercise for the councils will take place soon after passing of the National Budget next month.

Mughogho said Treasury has already committed to funding the recruitment exercise for council employees.

Vacant positions at Nkhata Bay District Council are of director of finance, administration, planning and development, public works, health and social services, agriculture and natural resources and youth and sports.

Ward councillors in the district have also been pushing the secretariat to fast-track the process of filling the vacant positions arguing the district is not performing well in different sectors.

In 2017, vacancy rate for councils in the country was at 38 percent and rose to 45 percent in 2018.

The ministry asked for more time to gather latest figures on the current vacancy rate.

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