By Loness Gwazanga & Tikondane Vega, MANA
Blantyre and Thyolo District Councils have new chairpersons, Mussah Chikwakwa of Mpemba Ward and Khonjeni-Ward Councilor, Sandram Maulana respectively.
Chikwakwa, who has replaced Councillor Carol Mdala, will be deputized by Lunzu Ward Councillor, Margaret Mikita for the next 12 months.
Maulana replaces George Jailosi, Councilor for Mangunda Ward and deputised by Owen Makonde who is Councilor for Masenjere Ward in Thyolo West replacing Councilor Maggie Kambewa of Mapanga Ward in Thekerani.
Chikwakwa, who served as vice-chairperson in the past year, defeated his opponents, Chikowa Ward councilor, Mike Malikita and Davis Mdala from Matindi Ward.
In his acceptance speech on Monday during a Full Council meeting in Blantyre, Chikwakwa promised to work to the councils expectations and that he would ensure a good working relationship between councilors and Members of Parliament (MPs) prevails.
“I promise to foster a good working relationship among councilors and MPs as well as non-governmental organizations to ensure continued development in the district,” Chikwakwa said.
“I will help the council open other revenue collection avenues instead of only relying on market fees. I will also ensure that there are regular exchange visits to other councils to learn more on how to develop our district.”
Mdala, who became the first female chairperson for Blantyre Council, said she was satisfied with how she served, hence she did not want to seek another term.
“Leadership is about doing your job and then pave way for others to continue,” she said.
“During my tenure, revenue collection for the council rose tremendously and our mother ministry gave us a green light to do a revision of our honoraria and salaries. Mdala said.
“I am very happy that the person I personally mentored has taken the mantle to lead. He has hands-on experience and I believe the council is in safe hands.
“Above all, I feel good to be the first female chairperson for the council, that alone was an achievement to me because I had opportunities to network with influential people that would not have otherwise been possible,” she said.
In his acceptance speech as Thyolo Council chairperson, Maulana said he would work according to the laws of Malawi and ensure that the council is complementing government agenda.
“I know this is a huge task I am taking today but I cannot work in isolation — let us all work jointly to fulfill the vision of Thyolo District and that of government so that we can put our district on the map,” he said.
Earlier, the outgoing chairperson, Jailosi said he had done his part and leaving the chairmanship a happy person because he believes he has fulfilled what he could have done.
“I have decided not to seek second term but instead pave way for others to show their capabilities too,” he said. “Sometimes we need to learn from others in different capacities.”
District Commissioner for Thyolo, Justin Kathumba urged the new leaders to support the government of the day saying the old has gone and the district needs to put its focus on the affairs of the new administration.
Kathumba said he will not tolerate anyone who would still want to live in the past as doing so would lead to sabotage of government business.
“You have been elected today to serve the new administration. As civil servants we support the government of the day and no discussion on this.
“Your colleaques whose tenure has just expired did their work and it is now your turn and our vision can only be fulfilled if we support the government of the day,” said Kathumba.