Bangwe-based Concerned Youth Organisation (CYO) has expressed disappointment with Blantyre City Council (BCC) over its failure to launch and put into a service charter years after its development.
A service charter provides a framework for defining service delivery standards, the rights of customers (residents in case of the council) and how complaints are supposed to be handled.
In an interview on Tuesday, CYO executive director, Harvey Chimaliro, noted that service delivery has suffered in the city because the council has failed to operationalise the charter.
Chimaliro observed that the failure by BCC to operationalise the charter has denied residents access to some important services.
He cited consistent collection of refuse and public sanitary facilities as some of the services that residents continue to be denied.
“The council has instead been responding to the demands of communities as per set standards in the charter without formally operationalising it. There are no structures and mechanisms to enable residents to report or demand services form authorities,” he explained.
Chimaliro wondered why the city fathers have kept the charter under wraps in spite of being reminded by stakeholders on the need to unveil the document to the public for scrutiny.
BCC public relations manager, Anthony Kasunda, confirmed that the council has a charter which is yet to be launched.
But he said the charter would be officially launched at an appropriate time, although the council has taken steps to ensure some of the requirements in the charter are implemented while waiting for the actual launch.
“For example, we have opened up to the public; we are providing information through many platforms including the website, Facebook, Twitter and a magazine. We’re also involving the residents, both individual and corporate, to realise our motto of taking the city back to the people,” Kasunda said.
Charters have a range of purposes, which may include customer education and the differentiation of service providers in competitive market.n