By Collings Fatsani Mdeni
Minister for Local Government, Unity and Culture Honourable Richard Chimwendo Banda this morning fired warning shots against District Commissioners and Councillors at the ongoing capacity building meeting in Mponela over what he called ‘negative energy some of them exhibit in implementing key projects in their respective councils.
Chimwendo Banda who was recently appointed as the new Minister for Local Government Unity and Culture was speaking to the District Commissioners, Councilors, and other officials for the first time since his appointment into the new cabinet on January 31 this year.
The Minister posed a question that seemed to be good in rhetoric putting in context the responsibilities which DCs and councilors have in developing councils using the development fund to achieve the aspirations in the Malawi Vision 2063 (MW2063)
He further warned that his Ministry will not put in his ship DCs and Councillors who are not willing and uninterested to work with His Excellency President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s government as well as the Ministry.
He questioned, “Do you have the energy to work with this ministry? Do you have the passion to serve His Excellency President Chakwera? If you serve the President you are serving Malawians. ..
“If somebody does not have energy to serve governmemt why should we call the person the district commissioner? If somebody does not have the energy to serve the government why should we keep the person as the district commissioner?
Among others, Honourable Banda, who is the leader of the House in Malawi Parliament and the director of youth in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) cited situations such as the participation of DCs in politics as the scenario that his leadership will not tolerate, but that they should be a workforce that should be there to serve Malawians in their respective councils.
He further urged “Rise above politics. You have only one President and government to serve. We don’t need you to be politicians. Serve one president at a time because when you serve the president you serve Malawians.”
In his further remarks, the youthful minister warned council officials to avoid politicizing development- saying that development should be there for people regardless of their political belonging. He added that his leadership too will never politicize development programs, but rather work for the benefit of all kinds of people in the country.
Currently, the meeting is underway at Mponela to strengthen the capacity of local authorities so that they should be able to identify flagship projects implemented under the development budget to realize President Chakwera’s dream of bailing out the country from being a middle-income earner to be a wealth and self-reliant nation.
The Minister is overseeing all 28 councils, four cities and three municipalities to ensure national development. He recently committed to work tooth and nail in his capacity as the minister in ensuring that development at the Council level is splashed across the country.