Chitipa district commissioner (DC) Grace Chirwa on Saturday apologised on behalf of the council secretariat for sidelining councillors, members of Parliament (MPs) and chiefs in implementing development projects.
During an ad hoc council meeting, highly charged councillors teamed up with MPs and chiefs and descended on the secretariat, blaming it for undermining their role in executing projects.
The bone of contention is the failure by project implementing District Environment Sub-Committees (Desc) to brief councillors, legislators and traditional leaders on Local Development Fund (LDF)-sponsored projects under the Productive Public Works Programmes (PPWP) for the district.
“Let me apologise on behalf of the secretariat for the mistake. This will not happen again,” said Chirwa.
Environmentally biased projects under the safety net PPWP will be implemented in river catchment areas and watersheds where there is rampant deforestation and other forms of damages inflicted on natural resources across the district.
The councillors and chiefs were displeased by the fact that when programme resources reached the district, Desc members hastily grouped themselves according to river catchment areas in five traditional authorities, drew physical maps and urged communities there, through village heads, to identify projects to be implemented.
The development comes a few weeks after the Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) programme manager Emma Kaliya challenged councillors in the district to stop leaving everything in secretariat’s hands.