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Cllr Makwinja elected works committee chair

Members of the Works Committee on Tuesday unanimously elected Councillor Joseph Makwinja of Bangwe Ward as their chairperson deputized by Councillor Leonard Chibade of Nyambadwe Ward.

The 20-member-committee was holding its first meeting following the dissolution of the former committee which was also chaired by Makwinja. The Council Committee term is one year.

Makwinja said he was overjoyed by the confidence fellow councillors had demonstrated by giving him a second term of office.

work-committee-meeting

“I am very happy for trusting me with a second term. I know the elections were free and fair and I promise to work hard for the benefit of the City of Blantyre,” said Makwinja.

After elections, the committee received a report from the Director of Engineering Services Grant Sichinga in which he gave progress status on various works being undertaken by the Council.

Among the works reported were grading of roads, procurement of road construction machinery, fixing of street lights and flood lights in townships among other developments in the City.

The Works Committee provides an oversight role on development projects undertaken by the Council.

Muluzi leads habitat day commemoration

Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Atupele Muluzi led the country in the commemoration of World Habitat Day 2015 under the theme Public Spaces for All.

World-Habitat-day

The event which started with a solidarity march from Blantyre Civic Centre to city centre, drew participants from Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu City Councils led by their Mayors.

Muluzi encouraged councils to utilize Public spaces in their urban centres for the benefit of the residents.

Hosting Mayor Noel Chalamanda said streets and public spaces have often been overlooked and undervalued although they are increasingly being considered as the backbone of the cities.

“Public spaces are places which are accessible and enjoyable by all without a profit motive and take on various spatial forms, including parks, streets, sidewalks, road reserves, markets, parkades, water parks and playgrounds just to mention a few,” said Chalamanda.

He added: “The character of a city is defined by its streets and public spaces. From city squares to neighbourhood gardens and children playgrounds, public space frames city image. The layout plans of streets, green spaces, water parks and public spaces forms the bedrock of the city upon which everything else rests.”

“Well designed and managed public space is a key asset for a city’s functioning and has a positive impact on its economy, environment, safety, health, integration and connectivity,” he said

Big-walk

The Mayor said many cities are developing policies that promote compact, livable areas, with adequate public space that facilitate public transport, encourages walking and cycling in order to reduce carbon emissions.

“Public space is critical for environmental sustainability. Green and open public space brings many important environmental benefits such as, the cooling of air and the absorption of atmospheric pollutants,” he said.

The Mayors from the four cities also conducted a debate broadcast live on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Television channel and Zodiak Broadcasting Station on the same theme of Public Spaces for All.

BCC, HTD sign city beautification pact

The Council on Monday signed a City Beautification Agreement with HTD Motors which is adopting the roundabout in front of its premises at Ginnery Corner near Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

HTD-signing-ceremony

It was a momentous occasion when the Blantyre City Council Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Alfred Chanza and the HTD Managing Director signed the Memorandum of Understanding which stipulates partnership conditions.

“We are happy that today we have signed this agreement and it is our wish that you immediately start working on the roundabout,” said Chanza.

HTD-signing

HTD Motors has pledged to make the site one of the most beautiful roundabouts in the City with water feature and evergreen gardens.

Blantyre and China’s Nanchang City sign partnership agreement

Blantyre City Council on Saturday signed an Aide-Memoire marking the beginning of a process of establishing Sister City relationship with Nanchang City of China.

Signing

The signing ceremony, graced by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa, took place at Civic Centre in Blantyre.

Mayor Noel Chalamanda signed on behalf of Blantyre City while Zhou Guan, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference of Nanchang chairperson, signed on behalf of Nanchang City.

The signing of the pact was in recognition by the two cities of a need for special relationship based on mutual respect and also a wish to solidify the commitment to each other.

Blantyre City Council reaffirmed its appreciation of the magnificient Chinese investment in city which has greatly enriched all areas of development including; economy, culture, technology and academia.

Group-photo

The two cities have agreed to foster mutual understanding, exchanges, promotion and cooperation in the development in economy and trade, education, culture and other fields of cooperation and communication.

Blantyre and Nanchang have also agreed to exchange visits, promote and cooperate in business enterprises and eventually to sign the agreement to establish friendly relations between them.

“We will encourage the involvement of individuals, businesses and institutions in our twinning relationship to develop a spirit of cooperation and create strong bonds of friendship,” reads part of the aide-memoire.

Before the signing of the pact, Blantyre City Council on Friday took the six member delegation on a tour of the City showing them Chirimba, Likhubula, Mbayani and also the city centre before a visit to Amitofo Care Centre.

On Saturday, immediately after the signing ceremony, the Mayor accompanied the delegation to Mangochi for the visitors to have a feel of Lake Malawi and a taste of fresh Chambo fish.

Mayor launches AXA Super Coaches

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 marked a turning point in the history of public transportation in Malawi following the launch of more luxurious and state-of-the-art Super Coaches by AXA Bus Services.
Mayor of Blantyre City Noel Chalamanda said the Super Coaches and custom-designed departure lounges will tremendously contribute to the improvement of road passenger services in the country.

Mayor-launches-coaches
“There can be no doubt that the transportation sector is the most critical sector of our economy and its positive impact on our social economic life cannot be overemphasised,” said Chalamanda.
“The reality about transportation is that its future oriented. If we were planning for what we have, we are behind the curve,” he added.
He was all praises for the chairman of AGMA Holdings Limited, Mark Katsonga-Phiri, owners of AXA Bus Services, for venturing into the road passenger transport service, a sector that most Malawian companies were sceptical some nine years ago.

AXA
“I cannot help to imagine if Mr Katsonga-Phiri had not thought of setting up through humble beginnings, AXA Coach and Bus Company; a company we all are proud to be associated with today,” he said.
Katsonga-Phiri said with the support from several Banks, his company has strived and the acquisition of five buses was part of the modernisation drive and promised to add more to the fleet.

Katsongas
The new buses have as an additional feature USB ports for charging electric gadgets such as mobile phones and laptops.

Nankhumwa commends Blantyre City Council

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nakhumwa has commended Blantyre City Council saying it was on the right track in municipal management.

Masauko

Nankhumwa was speaking when he visited the Council where among other activities he inspected the Masauko Chipembere Highway reconstruction under the Phase III of Japanese aided project.

“Let me say that Blantyre City Council is a shining example of well managed Councils in Malawi under the leadership of His Worship Cllr Noel Chalamanda and the Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr [Alfred] Chanza,” said the Minister.

Nankhumwa, who was accompanied by the Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development Chris Kang’ombe and Director of Local Government Services Kiswell Dakamau, walked with the Mayor and other dignitaries from Yiannakis Roundabout to Illovo Roundabout where the Phase III project is ending.

The road, which was expected to be completed by November 30, 2015, will be opened to normal traffic flow on October 20, this year.

Nankhumwa also toured Limbe market where he emphasized that government was worried with the market fires that have destroyed a number of such facilities with recent ones being Kasungu, Area 18 and Kamuzu road markets in Salima.

He said there was a need to promote construction of fire proof markets to avert this problem while also noting that Insurance companies cannot provide insurance services to markets that are vulnerable to fire.

In the afternoon, the Minister officially received a fire engine which was handed over by the Japanese Embassy First Secretary Kohei Sakamoto on behalf of Japan Fire Fighters Association.

During the ceremony, the Mayor lamented the state of fire engines in the Council saying in some cases, expected execution of duties during emergencies has been compromised due to breakdowns of vehicles.

Keys

Said Chalamanda; “For the past 12 months, the position of fire fighting vehicles in the city Council of Blantyre had been very pathetic and it was on several occasions, very difficult to cope with emergency situations.”

“This was due to frequent breakdown of our old vehicles whose spares are obsolete. With this donation Sir, we are now in a position to provide at least proper fire cover,” he said.

Japan Fire Fighters Association has so far donated four fire engines to Blantyre City Council since 2011.

 

Mayor Chalamanda shares experience

On path to success, dedication to work remains unparalleled…Chalamanda

He is the new face of local Government.  Although Mayor, Noel Chalamanda has only been in office for a year, he has revolutionized the way people interface with Local Councils and the delivery of public services in Malawi’s Metropolitan  City of Blantyre.  The City’s Council has been given a shot of efficiency served with a people-focus approach. The man behind it recently shared his secret with me, PATRICIA MTUNGILA, as I wore the cap of freelancer.

“I am just a person who was born and raised in Blantyre and who understands what Blantyre was  is and could be if we all played our part…”

 Chalamanda says that the secret behind Blantyre’s apt transformation is “Nothing magical”.

With Zambian Prsident

“I respond to people’s queries through different media especially social media, listen to suggestions, take time to meet a lot of people in my office regardless of their age or status in society, listen and discuss issues,” he says.

Despite, this mammoth shift in style of public service delivery, there are no grunts. The people of Blantyre completely adore Mayor Chalamanda for his ability to innovatively deliver on his promise to serve Blantyre residents by bringing about tangible change to the streets of Blantyre in so little time.

The success of the Blantyre City Mayor, like any other lasting success, has by no means come by means of rubbing a Ginny.

“On path to success, dedication to work remains unparalleled. Action is more appreciated than eloquence. We must try in all circumstances to do that which we have been tasked to do and if we can be innovative, even better,” he says.

Crowning it all Noel Chalamanda, who has made a name for himself in private practice as a lawyer, has an unmatched fashion sense and will not be spotted looking anything but flawless.

“I also took it from my mother, who would say then, ‘why are you dressed like a christmas tree?’ when the colors were really not properly matching! It is good manners to dress well!”

 

Mayor donates soccer uniforms to Schools

Pupils of Namiwawa Primary School and Chilomo LEA School were all smiles on Thursday (17th September) when the Mayor Noel Chalamanda donated sets of uniforms for the schools’ football teams.

Mayor-with-ball-boys

Chalamanda, who is Blantyre City Central Ward Councillor, bought the two uniform sets in China using personal money.

“When I was in China for training, I thought of buying something for pupils in my Ward,” said Chalamanda. “I know that apart from sitting in Class learning, you also need to do physical games and that is why I bought you this uniform.”

“May I request you not to concentrate on football only; you must work hard in class as well. You have to ensure that you become useful citizens of Blantyre in future,” he said.

Each school received a set of 17 jerseys which include top, shot and pair of socks and two balls.

Blantyre City holds food festival

Scores of people from all walks of life gathered at Green Valley gardens on Saturday to participate in the first ever food festival which was officially inaugurated by Mayor Noel Chalamanda.

market.jpg

Several stalls were erected offering different cuisines. Also on offer were assorted beverages and it was clear that patrons had more than enough on the menu to make their choices.

An excited Mayor told the gathering that occasions like the Blantyre Food Festival were happy moments bring together residents of the City to share a meal.

“I wish to profoundly thank you for choosing to patronize this event. As residents, we need to come together, share a meal and have fun,” said Chalamanda.

There were also live performances apart from disco. The gate was opened at 12:00 pm and closed at 9pm.

Amakhosi Functions and Events, BizMalawi in partnership with Blantyre City Council organized the food festival which would be an annual event.

Likangala Secondary School students visit Council

Blantyre City Council today welcomed Form 2 and 4 students from Likangala Secondary School in Zomba who were on an educational visit of Blantyre City.

The students led by two teachers wanted to learn the local governance system, the duties of the councils especially on the role of Councillors, services provided by the Council and source of revenue among others.

Councillor George Chipwete briefed the students on the composition of the Council, how issues are deliberated in the Full Council Meeting, the functions of working committees of the Council and the working relationship between the Council and the secretariat.

Ian Tweya, a teacher, said the educational visit, which provided an interaction with elected member and officials from the Council’s secretariat, would help the students understand better the local governance system.

Apart from visiting Civic Centre, the students also visited the High Court of Malawi and Museums of Malawi.