Senior Chief Chiwalo of Phalombe has expressed serious doubts on the prospects of Malawians realising a meaningful social and economic development from the inclusion of councillors into the democratic governance.
Chiwalo said the current crop of councillors is ‘very unproductive, fearing government could be wasting resources by paying them honoraria’.
He was speaking at Phalombe Secondary School last Friday when a local non-governmental organisation—Ekari Foundation—briefed chiefs and parents on successes and challenges undermining the social and economic growth of the district.
The chief stated that Phalombe is stuck in poverty because Members of Parliament (MPs) never committed themselves to developing the district since the introduction of democracy.
Said Chiwalo: “We expected that things would improve with the coming of councillors, but alas! They are even worse than MPs. Imagine, they have already backtracked on their manifestos merely seven months into office.”
He asked non-governmental organisations (NGOs) mandated to provide civic education such as the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust to empower Malawians with skills to enable them demand development from their elected leaders.
Nice Trust regional civic education officer Enock Chinkhuntha said in a telephone interview his organisation is prepared to empower communities to demand their right to development.
But Chinkhuntha stressed that Malawians need to actively participate in the process of bringing about this change, arguing the only way Nice Trust could translate its work is by ‘walking with communities’.