By Duncan Mlanjira
National Planning Commission (NPC) has inspired city and town council chief executive officers that they shall be actively involved in the successor to the Vision 2020, which will emphasise on inclusive wealth creation as opposed to the focus on poverty reduction it had.
NPC hosted a dinner at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre on Monday for the CEOs to discuss among other things, the new national narrative of wealth creation for all and role that can be played by all councils in achieving this.
NPC’s Director General, Thomas Munthali, told the CEOs that their national planning operations, including the successor to the Vision 2020 (which is line with the African continental aspirations manifested in Agenda 2063), cannot be successful without the full involvement of city, town as well as district councils.
He said NPC has its own urbanization mapping agenda and does appreciate the same development agendas that all councils plan to do or are doing and there is need for more of such interfacing meetings in order to harmonize all processes.
“We need the key ideas that can come from your experienced minds which we can share without us coming to you or you coming to us to help us map the way forward.”
Munthali further said most public amenities throughout the country such as education, health, road infrastructure and many others have gone down and “there’s the need to restore them to their former glory”.
“We need to ask ourselves, what kind of a future do we want for ourselves and for our children.
“We should reach a stage where each one of us should be comfortable to send our children and grandchildren to a public school as opposed to a private one because you know the services there are up to standard.
“We should be confident enough when we fall sick to stop by a health centre nearest to us rather than to a private hospital because you know you will find proper medical care there.
“That is wealth creation. If we can have all the basic necessities for every citizen, then we can call ourselves wealthy and it has to start with us.
“We should not just look up to our leaders or donors to do things for us. We must start thinking outside the box.
“When time comes for you to retire, you must be able to point at some of the development services and proudly say ‘I was part of this’.”
All the CEOs who spoke agreed with Munthali that the mutual working interactions must be ongoing, saying they have their own development agendas which NPC can take advantage of.
They also appealed to NPC that they should also involve the political leaders of the city, town and district councils because at times they clash with each other on administrative roles.
They said sometimes they fail to carry out some of their administrative measures because politics creeps in since other citizens resort to reporting them to politicians when they are simply carrying out their duties as per the law.
They also appraised NPC that some of their development agendas include good waste management, investment into health and education as well as decongesting traffic on the Malawian roads.
They all agreed that much as they can ask what is being done to all the development challenges the country faces, they should also provide solutions to such challenges.