Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Halima Daud has challenged Karonga District Council to develop programmes to enable it mobilise funds instead of depending on government.
The deputy minister made the call during a meeting with the full council on Wednesday at Baka Community Day Secondary School after inspecting two sites where angry rioters burnt the district commissioner’s (DC) offices during the anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations last year.
“From July last year the council has not sourced funds for the foundation of the new offices because they do not have other means of revenue collection besides market fees.
“So, the council should be innovative on revenue collection to spur socio-economic growth.”
Daud urged community members to desist from destroying property during demonstrations.
“However, I should also warn councils against abuse of resources and dubious procurement deals because they drain government resources,” she said.
The council’s chairperson Steven Simsokwe asked government to raise chiefs’ and ward councillors’s honoraria to enable them discharge their duties effectively.
“Life is hard. So, we need an increase in honoraria. Our senior chiefs also need houses,” he said.
On his part, Paramount Chief Kyungu asked government to punish people breaking the law to bring back sanity in the country.
He said: “There is need for the citizenry to respect rule of law for peace to reign.
“Second, the police should reconcile with community members so they can work together.”
Karonga is one of the districts that experienced destruction of property during protests last year.