NICE advocates for separation of roles and responsibilities

Blantyre, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) in Blantyre says legislators and councilors nationwide at times play ‘hide and seek’ in performing their roles due to misunderstanding of one’s roles.

Legislators and local government representatives nationwide do perform collaborative developmental tasks, but sometimes due to lack of sensitization and misunderstanding the two choose to play ‘hide and seek.’

Blantyre Urban District Civic Education Officer under National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE), Henry Gwedeza made the observation on Wednesday in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana).

Yes, I can confirm that the trend has been like that for quite some time now due to inferiority complex by either of the two players within the country’s 193 constituencies.

Now that legislators have just gone through orientation and swearing in ceremonies, our expectation is that both, the newly elected representatives and those that have been re-elected shall perform in an amiable manner; no need for overriding roles, Gwedeza said.

Gwedeza said NICE, which is non-partisan public trust primarily exists to conduct sensitisation among citizens in an independent and impartial manner by adhering to its key objective and vision of providing civic education.

Over and above, NICE is there to advocate for governance issues including civic education to communities on the right to vote, right to life, right to education and making awareness campaigns on crucial matters affecting the general citizenry, he said.

Gwedeza, therefore, pointed out that core functions of a ward councillor includes planning and strategizing developmental projects in their ward and present them to the council for approval.

Councillors are also supposed to report all development needs to his/her legislator who in turn, table them in the august house (Parliament), he said.

Gwedeza added that the councillor also ensures the local council disburses development funds in a transparent and accountable manner.

Random interviews Mana conducted on Friday within Blantyre City revealed that most residents did not know the difference between councillors and legislators’ roles within their respective communities.

In my view, I think a ward councillor is more important than his colleague (MP), said Austin Kabunga, saying the former is readily available and works as a messenger who transfers their concerns to the district council before any development initiative is hatched.

Source: MANA Online