Karonga district commissioner (DC) Paul Kalilombe says Karonga District Council has attained town council status.
In a memo dated May 27, the DC said the development will result in redemarcation of the district boundary and redeployment of members of staff to suit the current status.
Reads the memo: “I wish to inform you that government has approved the reestablishment of Karonga Township.
“This development will result in redemarcation of the district boundary, reallocation of roles, responsibilities and assets as well as reassignment of staff among other activities.”
In an interview on Sunday, Kalilombe said the proposal came from the Ministry of Local Government after noting that the district has what it takes to be a town.
However, the development comes at a time the council has operated for three years without offices after angry protesters burnt down offices during demonstrations against the outcome of the May 2019 presidential election.
“We will use the recreation centre as offices for the town council while waiting for 2025 when we will have ward councillorswith political authority,” said Kalilombe.
In a separate interview, Minister of Local Government Blessings Chinsinga said the elevation of Karonga to a town council provides an opportunity for the district to transform in readiness for a Northern Region Gateway Secondary City in line with the Malawi 2063, the country’s long-term development strategy.
He said: “People should expect transformation of all places designated for secondary cities because my ministry along with Ministry of Lands and the National Planning Commission, we are working on a master plan to develop town councils.”
But Malawi Local Government Association executive director Hadrod Mkandawire has faulted government for failing to provide additional resources for the elevated town councils and municipals, citing Luchenza and Kasungu municipal council.