National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust has criticised Dedza councillors for absconding village development committee (VDC) meetings as the tendency has led to minimal development in their areas.
Nice Dedza district civic education officer Patrick Siwinda said his office has been receiving complaints that councillors do not attend the meetings.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day refresher training for councillors and selected members of Parliament (MPs) in the district. Siwinda said councillors should take part in the proceedings of VDCs to understand development needs in their areas and relay the same to councils.
“Local government guidelines stipulate that councillors, by that virtue of their work, are supposed to attend and participate in committee meetings. Experience has, however, shown that some of the councillors have remained dormant,” he said.
Moses Chibwaza, councillor for Thete Ward in Dedza West Constituency admitted absconding some VDC meetings, but blamed the committees for not being organised.
“Some VDCs keep changing meeting days which makes planning difficult. People also need to acknowledge that sometimes we have busy schedules due to other commitments such as regular meetings at the council,” he said.
Councillor for Msunduzi Ward in Dedza East Constituency Richard Madalitso, and his counterpart for Mkundi Ward in Dedza South West Peter Gumbo collaborated that VDCs should be oriented on how to make development plans so that they should be able to perform whenever councillors are attending to some other activities. n