Minister Ben Phiri Warns Mayors, Council Chairs On Land Grabbing

By Mphatso Nkuonera

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Benson Malunga Phiri has issued a stern warning to Mayors, Council Chairpersons and their deputies to desist from land grabbing.

Dr Phiri: I will run after you

The minister issued the warning at Golden Peacock Hotelin Lilongwe during a three day training of Mayors, council chairpersons and their deputieson management of council operations that was organized by Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) in collaboration with Local Government Accountability and Performance (LGAP).

“There is a serious problem of land grabbing by councilors, mayors and other people in leadership at councils which is against the expectations of people.

“Let me warn you that any land that is obtained illegally is a cause of worry and I will run after you, this is abuse of political power which cannot be left unchecked,” he said.

He said the situation in most councils is very unbecoming as there is a lot of corruption, funds mismanagement which leave the people undeserved and has worsened poverty.

The minister also warned the councilors against mobilizing people to rise against District Commissioners saying such incidences have derailed development.

MALGA President,Councilor Wild Ndipo told Malawi News Agency on the sidelines of the meeting that most council chairs do not deliver to people’s expectations because of the shortness of the tenure of office.

“One year tenure of office is a serious concern and we appeal for a change on this if we are to make progress.

Council chairs are drilled on various areas but do not use their skills attained before they leave office, we think this is waste of resources,” Ndipo said.

The training which is a first cohort involved mayors and councilors from northern and central regions that will run from 4 to 6 December while Eastern and Southern region is scheduled to take place in Blantyre from 11th to 13th December, 2019 so that they are guided to effectively provide their oversight role in the management of council operations.

The training targets all the 70 new Mayors, District Council chairpersons and their deputies from all the 35 councils in Malawi.

 MALGA and LGAP organized the training with financial assistance from USAID and UKAID.

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