Following a revised Guide for Conducting Local Authority Business in Malawi (2019), District Councils all over the country held their First Council Meetings between June 28 and July 1 2019 where every Councillor took an oath of office.
The revised guide indicates that the first Council meeting must be held on the 28th working day after the General Elections Official Results.
During the meetings, Councillors and Members of Parliament (MPs) elected Council leadership that is Chairpersons and their vices for local councils or Mayors and their vices for urban Councils.
Director of Local Government Services in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) Sphiwe Mauwa on Saturday said that the idea of holding first Council meetings at the same time will bring order and harmony in the Local Government System.
“The Ministry realised that there was no sanity in the conduction of first Council meeting which includes the election of leadership of the Councils, thereby dragging the commencement of development activities at council level. For instance, some Councils could go up to November or December without conducting the meeting.
“In this case, the first Council meeting was to be held on June 25th, 2019 but it was slightly changed to accommodate MPs as the Parliament was in session,” she said.
The Director said in order to improve services of the Council, the ministry will train council members from mid this month.
“The ministry is geared to train all Council members that consists of MPs, Councillors, Chiefs and elected members of 5 interest groups together from 15th July to avoid contradicting messages that come out when the groups are trained separately,” said Mauwa.
She urged the newly elected council leadership to serve the interest of the people for positive and sustainable development.
Lilongwe District Council Chairperson Luciano Botomani in his acceptance speech said he will strive to work with all the Councillors and the secretariat in respect of all guidelines including the Constitution of Malawi.
According to Local Government Act 2010, Chairpersons and their vices will serve for a period of one year while mayors and their vices will serve for two and half years.
There are 35 councils in Malawi of which 28 are district councils while the rest are urban.