Written by Dyson Kamwana:
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, has wondered why some local councils in the country run their operations without a strategic plan.
The committee’s Chairperson Mark Botomani made the sentiments Wednesday during an interface the committee had with controlling officers from Luchenza Municipal Council at Parliament Building in Lilongwe.
As questions were heating up from the committee members on why Luchenza Municipal Council is not revising the outdated strategic plan which expired in 2015, the committee also asked for clarification on the failure by the council to collect debts amounting to K7.2 million which dates back to 2019 from property owners.
Botomani has since directed that controlling officers must submit relevant documents including bank statements to support that the money was collected within 14 working days, as claimed by the Council’s Chief Executive Officer.
He also said the committee will be following up the council on the formulation of the new strategic plan, saying it is crucial for the attainment of development agendas.
“The issue of the strategic plan as it was mentioned, is very critical and we would like to follow it up at some point because it is what will bring them to envision the future of the council,” said Botomani.
Luchenza Municipal Council Acting Chief Executive Officer Wanyapakucha McPhine Mzumara said the council is mobilizing resources to revive the strategic plan, adding that the amount of money in question was collected in the 2019/2020 financial year, saying the challenge was the non-compliance by property owners.
He said, “The total amount in question was actually collected in the 2019/2020 financial year and copies were submitted to the office of Auditor General (AG) for a review. I think the reason for failure to collect the money was basically the high rate of non-compliance”.
Mzumara has since pledged to revise the outdated strategic plan for smooth operation of the council.