Tempers Flare as MH District Council Passes Budget

The Mangochi District Full Council meeting on Tuesday, 14 February, 2023, passed its 2023/24 fiscal year annual budget, pegged at 8.4 billion kwacha.

However, the meeting where members also received reports from service committees in the third quarter of the year, 20222/23 was full of drama as tempers flared almost on every report presented, with members accusing the secretariat of doing things in isolation.

Members also accused the secretariat of not following their recommendations, saying after the house has agreed on something, the secretariat implements something different, giving an example of AIP and MVAC response implementation.

The members argued that despite being advised to prioritize hard to reach areas, the secretariat did not listen and some areas such as Makanjira are yet to benefit from the two programs.

"As we are in this meeting, people in my areas are yet to receive a single grain on MVAC response due to poor road network, yet we forewarned you in this house of this," explained Councillor Abdullah Yusuf, from Makanjira North ward.   

Drama also continued when Public works committee chairperson Councillor Mussa Chiganga, refused to present his committee's report saying the report was not reflecting what was on the ground as they were not given a chance to physically verify on the ground.

"If you check through the pages, you will see that this report has so many errors, even some names which are said to be of councillors, but we don't have them in this council," said Chiganga.

Some Council members then demanded that two building supervisors and a Principal Road Supervisor be transferred from the council, accusing them of being hindrance to development.

However District Commissioner for Mangochi, Smart Gwedemula, while admitting the challenges pleaded with the members to give him time to look at the issues before any action is taken since he is new in office.

"I’m pleading with you to give me time before any action, so that i should see some of the issues mentioned here and its legal implications," asked Gwedemula.

However, Council's Chairperson Ivy Sande, said while the DC is new the issues are not new as the secretariat has been adamant and this time they will not sit down and watch while development is suffering.  

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