M’mbelwa Under Fire for ‘Sidelining’ Councilors in Projects Implementation
Some ward councilors under Mmbelwa District Council claim they are being sidelined in the implementation of development projects that fall under the district development fund and the constituency development fund in Mzimba.
This came out Thursday when Tovwirane organization was training them on council operations in an effort to build their capacity on budget tracking.
Councilor Joel Nkhata of Luviri ward told Zodiak Online that the Mmbelwa council is not being transparent enough in the use of resources allocated for development.
Nkhata said, for example, councilors are not aware of developments carried out with an allocation of K40 million under the DDF in the 2019/2020 budget.
“It is very difficult for us the councilors to track how the Mmbelwa district council secretariat is using money because we are not involved in anything.
“I feel we can do better if we know the projects they are implementing. If we are working together,” said Nkhata.
Councilor Yolanda Ngwira stressed on the need for councilors to take the council to task on how development project funds are being used without knowledge of elected officers who are supposed to play an oversight role in such instances.
Same sentiments were shared by chairperson for Mmbelwa area development committee, Boldwin Ngulube. He argued that as matters are at the moment, projects are being imposed on citizens contrary to guidelines for use of CDF and DDF.
“In most cases, council or secretariat does not follow stipulated guidelines. Like in CDF we are supposed to sign the project application forms but in most cases they don’t do that. We wish there were changes so we work together,” said Ngulube.
Tovwirane organization women empowerment project officer, Cecelia Chivunga, said the briefing was critical as without it, the new crop of councilors would fail to fight corruption because of lack of knowledge on how things should be done.
“We wanted the councilors, as well as the ADC members, to understand their roles. They needed to have knowledge on how they can track projects in their wards,” Chivunga said.