The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is seeking about K1 billion to fill vacancies in local councils which Phalombe East member of Parliament (MP) Amos Mailosi (independent) said was negatively affecting decision-making processes and overall development in the district.
Minister of Local Development and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said this in response to a question from Mailosi to consider deploying permanent staff to Phalombe District Council where director of administration, director of planning and development and director of public works were working in acting capacity.
The minister said he was aware of the vacancies in Phalombe and many other councils and his ministry has since requested for authority to hire more staff from the Department of Human Resource and Management Development.
“The Ministry is waiting for approval from the department to fill these posts. We submitted a budget for personnel amounting to K1 billion which the Ministry of Finance had indicated it will support during the mid-year budget,” he said.
Nankhumwa, who is also leader of the House, further disclosed that the Local Government Service Commission would work with the Phalombe District Council to fill the vacancies as per the recruitment plan.
“In line with decentralisation, we have devolved the responsibility to fill vacancies to councils. I would urge the member to follow up with the council once funding is approved if this has been taken care of,” he said.
In his supplementary question, Mailosi wondered if the government could consider re-engaging personnel who had retired from public service into the non-filled vacancies in the councils.
However, Nankhumwa said this was not possible and not provided for in the local government regulations.