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Councils members oriented on local government system

Blantyre City Council members and senior staff from the secretariat have been oriented on the Local government system in Malawi Guidebook.

The orientation was conducted by Malawi Local Government Association, National Local Government Finance Committee and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

Among other issues, the Council members and secretariat would be oriented on guide for conduct of council business, budgeting and financial management in local authorities, development planning systems and integrity in Councils

The two day orientation workshop was opened by Blantyre City Mayor Noel Chalamba who welcomed the session saying it was better late than never.

Said Chalamanda: “We wish this orientation was conducted at the beginning of our term of office. Nevertheless, this orientation will impart very important knowledge to us Council members on how to conduct business in a manner to serve our city well.”

In attendance were Councillors, Members of Parliament and Blantyre City Council management team.

Council bids farewell to Polytechnic interns

Blantyre City Council on Friday bade farewell to two journalism students from Polytechnic, Angella Phiri and Esnath Samson, who were on internship for the past seven months.

Phiri and Samson were attached to the public relations office.

The two, in their remarks, expressed gratitude for the knowledge and experience acquired from the Council during the stay.

“We would also like to thank Blantyre City Council for extending our internship period,” said Phiri. “At first we were supposed to be here for three months but when we requested for an extension you considered us, we do not take it for granted, thank you.”

“Now it has been seven months since we joined the council and now that it is time for us to go back to school, we are leaving with both tears and smiles. We have tears because it is really sad that we are departing from you wonderful people and smiles because the friendships we have made with everyone here will be a memory and treasure of our stay,” she said.

She added; “As we go back to school, we will take with us all that we have learnt here and it is our hope that [after graduating] we find full time employment with a competent institution like Blantyre City Council.”

Blantyre City Council is wishing the two, Angella Phiri and Esnath Samson, the best of luck in their studies and thereafter.

From streets to College of Medicine

Fellow Blantyre residents: I had the privilege to be part of the Samaritan Trust Open Day. What mesmerized me most was the good work the Trust is doing redefining the future of street children. I was overwhelmed by the story of Simon, an orphan who lost both parents early 2000. This situation pushed him into Blantyre streets to beg in order to meet his basic needs until Samaritan Trust rescued him and enrolled him at Bangwe Primary School.

Simon was selected to Robert Blake Secondary School and now, Simon is a student at College of Medicine pursuing Physiotherapy. What a moving and inspiring story of a life of a once street kid. There is also another story of Rhoda who was pushed into early employment (child labour) because of lack of parental care. Samaritan Trust rescued her from house-girl employment and enrolled her back in school. Now Rhoda is in Form 3.

My Fellow residents, Samaritan Trust is doing a very commendable work to transform the lives of underprivileged children and give them new meaning. You can be part of this success story by sponsoring a child or making a donation. For K5 000 per month, you can send a street child to primary school and K8 000 to secondary school. For K20 000 per quarter a street child can train in vocational skills. I had an opportunity to pose for a photograph with Simon, the College of Medicine student from Samaritan Trust. What a privilege!!! What a life!!!

Samaritan Trust impresses Mayor

GREENCORNER WARD: Blantyre City Mayor Councilor Noel Chalamanda says his office is committed to making Blantyre City a better place to live for everyone including street children.

Chalamanda was the Guest of Honour at the Samaritan Trust Open Day. The Trust is a non- governmental organization that aims at alleviating the plight of street children by ensuring their access to education, vocation skills training and social protection.

He says it is the responsibility of the council to make sure there are no street children in the city and that through trustees like the Samaritan Trust, there is hope that the problem of the increase in number of street children will be curbed.

Says Chalamanda: “What we will be doing in a short while is to go out there using people that have expertise like the Samaritan Trust to see what we can do with the children, either to bring them here or to other such institutions. Even though it might not be solved in a short while but we must take deliberate steps towards alleviating the problem of street children in the city and the country as a whole.”

He says there is need for collaboration among residents in addressing the problem of street children and that the corporate world open up opportunities for street children who have shown dedication in changing their lives by joining the Samaritan Trust.

“It is in this vein that I call upon you, to collaborate and put an effort in addressing the problem of street children. As we have observed, there is a lot of potential among these children. Future carpenters, builders, tailors, technicians. Let’s open up opportunities for these children and utilize their skills for the betterment of our City.” he says.
However, he pleads with the children to take the opportunity of being part of the Samaritan Trust seriously by learning on how they can become good citizens.

Mike Bamford, Samaritan Trust Chairman, says it is sad to see some street children who were once part of the organisation back in the streets when their friends are craving for an opportunity like that.

Says Bamford; “Most of the times children run away from this place for their own reasons but I think because they are used to the life in the streets they find it had to adapt to a new environment which is why we now have competent staff which makes sure that when the children are here they are settled and are feeling at home.”

Margaret Nkhwehna, Samaritan Trust Executive Director says the organization has managed to reach over 5000 street children since it was founded in 1993 with the help of social workers and various organizations such as Tilitonse Fund, Tudor Trust, David James Foundation, Sarah Adams Foundation and Aqua Viveda.

Currently the organization with 17 staff members is taking care of 77 children who amongst them 24 are girls.

BCC Signs Development Agreement With Chinese Investor

LILONGWE: Blantyre City Council is a beneficiary of the just ended Malawi Investment Forum. The Council has reached a preliminary understanding by signing MOU with the China-Zambia and China-Tanzania Friendly Cultural Exchange Programme for the joint implementation of 11 projects. The projects are as follows:bcc

  • Construction and of a modern High Way from Blantyre Central Business District (CBD) to Chileka International Airport via Mbayani, Chemusa, Chirimba and Kameza Townships.
  • Construction of a modern multi storey parkade in Blantyre City
  • Construction of a Building Materials Market
  • Establishment of Taxi Company in Blantyre City
  • Establishment of Brick Manufacturing Company in Blantyre City
  • Exploring the possibility of establishing a Television Channel for common use and television programmes exchange
  • Construction of Park Station/Bus Terminal in Blantyre City
  • Improving Public Transport System—Introducing a City Bus Service
  • Improving urban sewer system and sewage treatment
  • Improving City street lighting
  • Development of Residential Buildings in Blantyre City.

The Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony that took place on Tuesday at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe. The Mayor Noel Chalamanda and Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Alfred Chanza signed on behalf of the Council.

Blantyre Hosts Zambian President; Mayor Grants Him Freedom Of The City

BLANTYRE: At least, this year’s independence anniversary celebrations left a mark in Blantyre City as it hosted the Zambian president Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

It was on July 5, 2015 when Blantyre City Mayor Noel Chalamanda officially granted Lungu Freedom of the City on his maiden visit to Malawi since his ascendancy to the high office of the State President.Edgar-Lungu_chalamanda

Immediately he landed at Chileka International Airport, Lungu, wearing a navy blue suit flanked by his wife Esther, was driven straight to Civic Offices around 18:30 hours for the honours.

Lungu was in Malawi on President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s invitation to grace the Country on 5th July to attend the Independence Celebrations.

Chalamanda said granting Freedom of the City is a traditional means for a municipality to honour visiting distinguished guests.

Said Chalamanda; “The decision to grant this freedom rests with the municipal authorities and it remains the oldest and one of the highest civic honours in the Commonwealth of nations.”

He said it is an example of a military tradition initiated in England during the 15th Century.

During the War of the Roses, cities were constantly endangered by marauding military units from one side or the other. Before a city would admit a military unit inside its walls, the Chief Constable demanded to know the purpose of the soldiers’ entry and escorted their commander to the Council Chambers.

If the leaders felt the unit could be trusted, it was granted privilege known as “Freedom of the City,” which entitled the unit to enter the city with drums beating, banners flying, and bayonets fixed.

The Mayor commended Lungu’s visit to Malawi and Blantyre in particular which he said cemented the relationship that is there between Blantyre City and Ndola City of Zambia which are both commercial Cities of the two countries.

He said: “We are like brothers because we share so much in common including our food, religions, traditions, languages and many more. We are the same. This is why for a long time, we have co-existed and mingled without any problems.”

“Malawians and Zambians are but one people separated by the imaginary lines that are found in Atlases and geography books but never on the actual ground,” he said.

Chalamanda presented the Zambia President with a freedom key as a symbol the Lungu had the Freedom of the City and could visit any place of his choice.

After signing the visitors’ book, Lungu said it was a great honour to be granted the Freedom of the City.

He pledged to ensure that the relationship that exists between Ndola and Blantyre cities are more meaningful.

Malawi and Zambia both attained Independence in 1964.