Ward councillors in Ntchisi North East Constituency have accused their member of Parliament (MP), Olipa Chimangeni (Malawi Congress Party-MCP), of sidelining them when initiating and undertaking development projects in the area.
One of the councillors, Ireen Logati Chauma (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP) who represents Mtsiro Ward, levelled the accusation against the MP on Thursday during a media tour Ntchisi Organisation for Youth Development (Noyd) organised to assess development projects in the area.
She said: “In the year 2015, we have met a lot of challenges in development because there is no unity between the MP and the councillors. The MP is supposed to be making laws in Parliament, but she is busy doing what we [councillors] were supposed to do.”
Chauma cited the construction of a teacher’s house at Chididi Primary School and a bridge across Chafumbi River as some of the projects councillors were sidelined.
But speaking in a telephone interview yesterday, Chimangeni said the councillors have sinister motives.
She said: “I suspect there is something they want because what they are saying is not true. I invite them to discuss development projects, but they are always nowhere to be seen.
“An MP is the one who signs for Constituency Development Fund [CDF], therefore, if they want an MP not to be involved in development projects then let us change our Constitution so that MPs should not be part of CDF. This fund is for the constituency not ward.”
Since the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections that ushered in councillors after an absence of almost 10 years, there has been friction between MPs and councillors over their roles, especially in constituencies where the two representatives come from different political parties.
Noyd conducted the media tour with funding from Democracy Consolidation Program (DCP). n