Devolution to Improve District Information Offices – Capital Radio Malawi
25 July, 2024

Devolution to Improve District Information Offices

Devolution to Improve District Information Offices

Ministry of Information and Digitalisation says the devolution process that it is undertaking will reduce numerous challenges that the District Information Offices encounter.

Director of Administration in the ministry, Hillary Namainja, made the remarks Saturday at Mponela in Dowa during the official opening of a day-long meeting aimed at validating guidelines for the devolution to the local authorities.

He said district offices are failing to access direct funding from central government and other development partners because they are not part of the devolved sectors at the council.

“As we are all aware, the benefits of devolution are enormous to all sectors. It helps the council to work as a single administrative unit.

“Devolution also improves and enhances service delivery to communities and other stakeholders in the districts,” he said.

Namainja further said through devolution, communities will easily and quickly access information and communication services aimed at promoting participation and development of the local authorities.

He then thanked the Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture and National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) for the guidance they have been providing throughout the process.

Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) Executive Director Hadrod Mkandawire commended government for finally moving to devolve District Information Offices, which he said are very critical in information management and dissemination in local authorities.

“As it is said, better late than never. We hope there won’t be any more delays in the process so that the devolution takes place as soon as possible for the benefit of local authorities and the citizenry across the country.

“We believe this move will not only help in the provision of information to the masses, but also assist in promoting transparency and accountability,” said Mkandawire.

Balaka District Information Officer (DIO) Mary Makhiringa thanked the ministry for the move, saying DIOs in some councils were not taken as part of the council because they were not devolved.

She said: “At times, we have been using our own resources to gather and transmit stories due to lack of resources.

“And in some councils, DIOs have been meeting some resistance from other devolved sector heads when we ask for their assistance like internet and vehicles to carry our duty.”

Government started devolving some powers to councils in 1998 and currently, 21 ministries, departments and agencies have already been decentralised. Andrew Mkonda

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