The Malawi Institute of Physical Planners has deplored professional encroachment where non-qualified planners are engaged to do physical planning, saying this leads to shoddy work as seen in most urban areas.
In an interview on Friday after an executive meeting in Salima, the institute’s president Dereck Mamiwa said the professional encroachment is denting the profession and distorting the desired physical outlook of the built environment.
He said Malawi has so many qualified planners who do a good job, but face several challenges, including political interference.
Said Mamiwa: “One of the most pressing challenges is politics where a qualified planner is trying to bring sanity into the built environment, but a politician is thinking otherwise. The politicians influence a lot and some of the chaos you see around, stems from such influence.
“We have professional encroachment where non-qualified people get planning jobs. We need to ensure that those who undertake planning are those who are qualified.”
To deal with professional encroachment, he said certification is one of the ways which the institute will use to sanitise the industry and meting out punishments to people who are not qualified to do planning job.
Recently, Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa said the Tonse Alliance administration is allowing professionals to do their work without political interference.
The minister said his ministry is working on digitising all processes to root out corruption and to foster accountability where everything will be transparent in the digital records.
Lilongwe City Council chief executive officer John Chome recently admitted that physical planning for some sections of the capital city leaves a lot to be desired; hence, called for a different approach to uplift standards.
Malawi Institute of Physical Planners is a non-profit public interest and research organisation committed to urban, sub-urban, regional and rural planning which was established to advance the science and art of physical planning in all its respects.