Institutional capacity specialist at the Local Government Accountability Project (LGAP) in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Brenda Kacheche has singled out understaffing as negatively affecting councils’ performance.
She was speaking in Nkhotakota on Tuesday during the project’s introduction to the district executive committee (DEC) members, where it transpired that in districts the project is running, councils are struggling to discharge their functions due to staff vacancies.
Kacheche pointed out that there is need to invest more in human resources development and management responding to emerging capacity needs in council’s planning, budgeting and implementation functions.
“We supported the ministry to conduct a head count which gave a picture on the availability of staff in councils. It is pleasing to see that government is responding to the problem but more needs to be done,” she said.
On his part, Nkhotakota Civil Society Network secretary Robert M’baya said a vibrant civil society network is key to realising its watchdog role by assessing and identifying gaps in the decentralisation process.
Nkhotakota acting director of planning and development Malani Moyo applauded the project, saying it will improve the council’s functionality and enable government to complete the decentralisation process.
LGAP is a five-year project which began in 2016 and is designed to support the Malawi Government in the implementation of the National Decentralisation Policy.