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REPUBLIC OF MALAWI

STATEMENT BY

HIS EXCELLENCY PROF. ARTHUR PETER


MUTHARIKA
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF
MALAWI
AT
AN AUDIENCE WITH THE MALAWI LOCAL
GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (MALGA)
KAMUZU PALACE, LILONGWE
19 APRIL 2016
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Honourable Kondwani Nankhumwa, M.P., Minister of


Local Government and Rural Development
Councilor Samson Chaziya, President of the Malawi
Local Government Association, and your deputies
Mr.

Stuart

Ligomeka,

The

Secretary

for

Local

Government and Rural Development


Members of the Malawi Local Government Association

Ladies and Gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you here at


Kamuzu Palace. Your association is a key player in the
democratization of our society. So when I see you, I see
the potential of democracy.
It therefore feels good to be among you today, the
leadership of the umbrella body which brings together all
local government authorities in Malawi. Through you, let
me congratulate all the Councilors for being elected to
their positions.
Local governments are increasingly becoming the
pinnacle of development. In this current financial year,
for example, government allocated MK5 billion of the
Development Budget to Local Authorities. Now councils
are able to make their own decisions on the type and
costs of projects, as they so wish.
While on this matter, however, let me register my
concern

through

you,

MALGA.

We

are

getting

increasingly, reports of lack of accountability in councils.


There are increasing levels of abuse of resources. Yes, theft
and corruption in councils. And I would like to say, this
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needs to be stopped as soon as possible, because this


discourages the central government and development
partners alike from giving you more resources and
responsibilities. And please, let us work together that we
do not go back.
It is the wish of my government to move towards
full decentralization, which would entail devolving the
financial, human and physical resources to councils.
I therefore request the MALGA to help build the
capacity of the councilors and support the accountability
systems of councils.
I am aware of a number of challenges that councils
experience,

both

structural

and

systematic.

My

government is working hard to end those problems. I


know that some councils have no capacity to raise
enough resources by themselves. I know the long standing
issue of the role of Members of Parliament in Council
processes. I know that some wards are bigger than others.
I know many challenges.

However, let me assure you that Government is


doing everything possible to make our councils function
to the desired levels. For example, we are reviewing the
Local Government Act, and related Acts to be in line with
modern demands of democracy and local governance.
We will also re-demarcate wards after the coming
population census. We have also made the Ministry of
Local Government a priority agency in the Public Sector
reforms, because we believe that if we get the local
authority efficient and effective, we complete the formula
of our development.
Distinguished Councilors, you requested for this
meeting, and so you are the ones with the issues for
discussion and my attention. However, let me ask you to
help Government in the fight for mindset change among
Malawians. We need our people to believe in their
abilities; to work hard; to be trustworthy; and to love
their country. We need people that do not believe in
handouts, but the fruits of their hard work.

I will therefore conclude, by appealing to all


councilors across the country to be exemplary by working
hard, being of high integrity and patriotic. If we all walk
together, and work hard together for this country,
everybody will be happy in the end. A prosperous
Malawi is possible, and that is what we must all work
hard for.
Once again, I welcome you to Kamuzu Palace, and
thank you for your attention.

May God Bless Our Country Malawi!