There is a shake-up in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development following immediate transfers of eight district commissioners (DCs) and 15 directors.
The ministry has not given any reasons for the changes, but says they are normal movements.
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho described the postings as a normal process of managing affairs of councils.
However, several stakeholders, among them the donor funded Kalondolondo Programme, which monitors service delivery in councils, have in the past bemoaned frequent transfers of DCs, arguing that it derails development because the council chiefs have no time to effectively implement programmes.
According to a posting instruction effective April 26 2016 issued to all DCs and signed by Secretary for Local Government Stuart Ligomeka, DC for Phalombe Paul Kalilombe has been swapped with his Ntcheu counterpart Harry Phiri while Nsanje’s Atanasio
Chibwana has been posted to Mangochi Town Council as chief executive officer (CEO).
Mwanza DC Gift Rapozo has taken Chibwana’s place in Nsanje while Mangochi DC Jack Ngulube is set to go to Mwanza.
This will be Ngulube’s third transfer in two years as he has served in Mulanje and Mangochi where he stayed for less than six months.
“I have not received the communication, I am just hearing rumours,” Ngulube said in an interview on Wednesday.
Rapozo also confirmed yesterday that unofficially, he was aware of the transfer, but he was yet to get communication from headquarters.
Phiri, who is going to Phalombe, was sent to Nsanje in February 2015 before he was transferred to Ntcheu less than six months ago.
Prior to the 2014 elections, he was DC for Zomba.
In Mangochi, CEO James Manyetera will become DC for the district, having been moved from the town council.
The letter also states that Grace Chirwa, one of four female DCs, has been moved from Chitipa to Rumphi where she is set to replace Lusizi Nhlane who swapped with her.
But Mughogho said some of the DCs have been in the posts for over three years, among them Kalilombe, Nhlane and Rapozo.
Transfers of directors of planning and development (DPDs) have been effected in Mchinji, Thyolo, Blantyre, Mmbelwa, Ntcheu, Phalombe, Dedza, Kasungu, Nkhotakota and Likoma, among other councils.
The development means that the new DC for Phalombe, Kalilombe, will not find a DPD as the holder the post now, a Mr F. Matewere, has been transferred to Blantyre District Council while a Mr P. Kamtsitsi from Blantyre has been transferred to Mmbelwa District Council.
DPDs are the key technical leaders at district council level in the planning, designing and implementation of development programmes and projects.
The ministry has also transferred the chief public works officer from Ntcheu to Mangochi while the director for public works (DPW) from Mulanje has been transferred to Dowa where the officer there heads to Ntcheu.
Two procurement officers have been swapped between Mulanje and Zomba councils while the chief planning and development officer for Thyolo has moved to Nsanje district.
Mughogho, however, said the transfers were to ensure improved performance of the councils. n