The process of decentralising government operations to be run by councils has slowed down in Eastern Province.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo told Breeze News in an interview that this is because most councils in the province do not have proper infrastructure for operations of various departments.
Mr. Kasolo says the decentralisation policy will be fully implemented after one year adding that there is need to improve infrastructure in councils.
He added that the requirement of a grade twelve certificate as minimum qualification for councillors means that the council cannot start running the affairs of government with the current civic leaders, who may not have the required qualification.
Mr. Kasolo added that Chipata Municipal Council should have an executive mayor for it to start the decentralisation process.
Mr. Kasolo has advised civic leaders who do not have grade twelve certificates to ensure that they write their GCE and meet the required qualification.
Meanwhile, construction of two palaces for Paramount Chief Mpezeni in Chipata and Chaiftainess Nyanje in Sinda district will be completed next month.
Mr. Kasolo told Breeze News that the construction of the two palaces is progressing well and the two traditional leaders will shift into their new houses before the end of February.
He says government is still waiting for a go ahead from Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi, who told government to hold on to the construction of his palace.