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Malisheva
Posted on by travelkosova

Kosova's Cities Malishevë/Mališevo was established as a municipal entity in 1986. In 1991, the municipality was abolished and the territory divided among the neighboring municipalities. During the 1990s, it remained an entity in the Kosovo Albanian parallel system. The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) formally re-established the municipality of Malishevë/Mališevo in July 2000.

Population and Area
The municipality is largely rural with 43 settlements. Malishevë/Mališevo town had approximately 2,300 inhabitants in September 1999 (down from 2,600 just before the 1999 conflict). The remaining 96% of the estimated 57,000 inhabitants are widely dispersed amongst the 43 villages of the municipality.2 Prior to the October 2002 Municipal Elections, 32, 262 voters registered.

The population is 99% Kosovo Albanian. The Kosovo Serb population, previously numbering 700, was primarily based in Kijevë/Kijevo. All left in 1999 and none have so far returned.

Civil Administration
Malishevë/Mališevo was among the first three municipalities in Kosovo to witness the withdrawal of UN Civil Administration. As of 1 January 2005, UNCA is performing its monitoring duties without being permanently based in the municipality.

The two principal Kosovo Albanian parties (LDK, PDK) dominate the political scene in Malishevë/Mališevo. In the previous administration, LDK had a very slim majority, but since October 2002 PDK holds power. The distribution of seats in the Assembly is as follows: 17 seats for PDK, 13 seats for LDK and one seat for AAK.

The development of municipal institutions following the 2000 Municipal Elections encountered immediate and varied difficulties, mainly due to the long-standing conflict between some of the key players in LDK and PDK.

A new municipal government under PDK leadership was elected in October 2002. Gani Krasniqi, the self-styled mayor after the conflict and former independent candidate was elected Assembly President and Ragip Begaj (also PDK) was chosen as Deputy President. No additional Deputy President has been elected. Since its appointment the new government continues to encounter difficulties in its work, despite holding a comfortable majority in the Assembly. The Assembly President came under strong pressure from within his own party with 5 of 17 PDK Assembly members not in attendance at Assembly meetings, due to disagreements over the proposed candidate for the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In turn LDK, with its 13 members, gained a de facto Assembly majority and boycotted the Assembly in reaction to PDK’s refusal to agree to a co-governance agreement.

Further disagreements emerged over the composition of the selection panel for the Board of Directors. In the meantime, PDK managed to exchange all but one departmental director for PDK affiliates. As a result of the continuing conflict between PDK and LDK the work of the Assembly and development in the Municipality is seriously hampered at times. Following the Kosovo Assembly Election 2004, one LDK and one PDK member of the municipal assembly resigned to take up the position in the Kosovo Assembly.

Due to ongoing disagreements between PDK and LDK, which led to LDK, refusing to attend Assembly sessions and the apparent non attendance of few PDK Assembly members the Assembly has not convened for the last 4 months due to lack of quorum.

The Municipal Working Group on Returns (MWGR) was only established in April 2003 due to strong pressure from the international community. It has met twice so far in the presence of the Assembly President, but the subject of returns remains contentious. Apparently no minority IDP has yet expressed the wish to return to this municipality. A Municipal Return Officer has been hired recently; the same person also holds the position of Municipal Communities Officer. In October 2005 a Roma family of 7 members has returned to Malishevë/Mališevo town from Plementinë/Plementina refugee camp. The Municipality has provided the accommodation to the family in the community shelter.

On April 2004 Municipality opened a ‘one stop shop’, which was funded by the Ministry of Public Services in order to facilitate better service provisions within the municipality. The ‘shop’ seems to be highly successful; hence it provides instructions on the services provided, documentation needed, and fees involved.

Malishevë/Mališevo has not established a working body to address the issue of Standards, nor have they created a Municipal Standards Implementation Plan, although a co-ordinator has been appointed. A Municipal Returns Strategy is developed, and is awaiting approval from the Municipal Assembly. Publicly the Municipal Institutions have declared that they have fulfilled most of the Standards.

Political Parties
Currently, eight political entities are active in Malishevë/Mališevo municipality, but the only political parties that are represented in the Municipal Assembly are LDK, PDK and AAK. Relations between LDK and PDK have been tense since the end of the conflict. A number of security related incidents occurred during the run-up to the 2000 Municipal Elections, including an explosive device placed outside an LDK representative’s office that caused property damage, and a December 2000 incident of attempted murder of an LDK Municipal Assembly member. Recent mediation efforts from the international community have not led to an improvement in relations between PDK and LDK, though no violent act has taken place since. The Kosovo Assembly Election of 2004 saw the appearance of a new political party in Kosovo, ORA, which gained 1.5% of the vote in Malishevë/Mališevo municipality. In this election PDK and LDK succeeded in sending their representatives from Malishevë/Mališevo to the central Assembly.

Local and International NGO's
There are a number of locally registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Malishevë/Mališevo municipality, but not all of them are active. The resources and funds of local NGOs are limited and, for this reason, their efficiency rests mainly with financial and other support from international NGOs. An NGO co-ordination board of 6 members has been established in April 2004 however has not been functional. Currently a new attempt is being made to reorganize an NGO coordinating body, to prepare a statute and to elect a new board.

The youth activities in the municipality are driven by a number of individuals, informal youth groups, a registered NGO, youth branches of AAK, PDK, LDK, as well as secondary school student councils. A wooden youth chalet in the centre of Malishevë/Mališevo town, established with the assistance of OSCE and Swiss KFOR, is a focal point for activities. The local NGO Women of Llapusha and the branch of the Centre for the Protection of Women and Children Rights and the newly established women’s NGO “Rita” address gender issues. A branch of Handikos provides special assistance to 470 registered disabled people. The branch of the Union of the Blind has 74 blind and 35 deaf (of which 18 are youth) registered.

There are two international NGOs based in the municipality. MNA (Medizinische Nothilfe Albanien) provides Community Nursing and Social Services through a mobile team that visits villages. Being based in the village of Carrallukë/Caralug since April 2000, the team moved to an office in Malishevë/Mališevo town in mid-May 2001. Finally, FINCA has a contact office from which they manage two micro-credit schemes.

UNCA and OSCE cover this municipality from their main offices in Rahovec/Orahovac.

Religion and Places of Worship
Malishevë/Mališevo municipality is solely of the Muslim faith. Soon after the constitution of the municipality, Muslim clerics established the local Malishevë/Mališevo Islamic Community in order to organize religious life. A committee consisting of seven Imams runs this branch of the Kosovo-wide organization.

Out of ten mosques in the municipality, all but one were destroyed during the 1999 conflict. All destroyed mosques have been reconstructed with support from associations in Arab countries, including the recent construction of the new mosque in Malishevë/Mališevo town. There are ruins of a small Catholic Church in the Karvasari/Kravasarija village, which according to the villagers, stopped to function at the beginning of the last century.

Media
Journalists based in the municipality write regularly in the Kosovo-wide newspapers. Radio Malisheva, however, is the only local media available. Its mixed programme of music, news, and commemorations, which can be received throughout the municipality, comprises the regular Radio schedule while local issues are insufficient.

Judicial System
On 1 September 2000 the judges for both the Minor Offence Court and the Municipal Court of Malishevë/Mališevo were appointed. There are two judges in the Minor Offence Court, two professional, and 15 lay judges in the Municipal Court.

Police, Civil Protection, and Military Presence
The Russian KFOR contingent, which left Malishevë/Mališevo in summer 2001, experienced a tense relationship with the local population and the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC/TMK). For example, after the arrest of a Kosovo Albanian political leader on weapons possession charges in spring 2000, unknown individuals attacked Russian KFOR positions with small arms at night. UNMIK has worked with KFOR and local leaders in order to defuse tensions. The Russian KFOR contingent completely withdrew from the Municipality in June 2002. No KFOR contingent is stationed in the Municipality, but regular patrols are undertaken by Austrian KFOR (based in Suharekë/Suva Reka). German KFOR runs a liaison/contact office in the municipal building.

The local Police Station was transitioned to KPS in 2004; the UNMIK Police role is now limited to monitoring KPS activities.

Economy
Malishevë/Mališevo municipality is one of the poorest in Kosovo. The economy relies on small business and agriculture and is characterized by high unemployment.

The socially owned agricultural enterprise Mirusha is the only major company based in the municipality. The workforce is currently approximately 30 down from the pre-conflict level of approximately 1,000. The enterprise owns 1,200 hectares of vineyards of which approximately 1000 have perished due to neglect. Of the remaining, 200 hectares are in use. In addition, Mirusha cultivates about 150 hectares of wheat.

FINCA, a US based NGO, runs two micro credit schemes in Malishevë/Mališevo. One project is on village banking, which assists 12 groups (covering approximately 100 persons) with small loans. The other is a small enterprise loans program (SEL), which gives loans to individuals for production related initiatives. Nearly 40 clients are currently in this scheme. FINCA clients in Malishevë/Mališevo have about five or six employees.

To date no privatization process has taken place in Malishevë/Mališevo, hence there are no Socially Owned Enterprises apart from “Mirusha”, which did not attract potential investors due to its very limited production capacity. However, a Slovenian businessman originally from Malishevë/Mališevo has invested in the construction of a factory producing electric appliances, which will employ up to 250 workers.

Infrastructure
According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) an estimated 82.5% of a total of 7,552 houses in Malishevë/Mališevo municipality were completely or partially destroyed during the 1999 conflict. Of those, 1,870 (or 30 percent) were completely destroyed (Category five). Reconstruction of 791Category 5 houses was completed between 1999 and 2000. The European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR) has selected 100 houses for reconstruction while Arbeiter-Samariter Bund (ASB) has been implementing a reconstruction project during 2002. Approximately 15 kilometers of roads have been reconstructed in 2003 and 2004.

The general infrastructure of Malishevë/Mališevo is very poor. Progress has been achieved in Malishevë/Mališevo town: The Banjë/Banja swimming pool was rehabilitated in April 2000 and the PTK mobile phone net were established in June 2001, also the streetlights were installed and roads have been reconstructed. Most importantly, by the end of 2004 the water and sewage system for the town and several surrounding villages, which were previously non-existent, were completed. Other school construction and infrastructure reconstruction projects are currently ongoing.

By spring 2002, a number of projects received funding from EAR, USAID, ADRA-Japan, UFORK (Kosovo Republic United Funds), Swiss Caritas, and World Bank. Projects included the following: Cultural & Sport Hall (ADRA), Veterinary station (Swiss Caritas), two primary schools (CDF & ADRA including small contribution by the municipality), two ambulantas in a villages (UFORK & Health Ministry), construction of 250 cow sheds and distribution of 120 cows in six villages (Swiss Caritas). By fall 2003 and first half of 2004 municipality has allocated funds for number of projects such as: construction of three primary schools (municipal & world bank), two registry offices (Kosovo budget), and health facility (MLIF & municipality).
Sources: Municipal Department for Urbanism, Reconstruction, Planning & Development; UN Municipal Administrator

Social Services, Health, and Education
The Malishevë/Mališevo Centre for Social Work (CSW) administers assistance schemes and offers counseling services. The Social Assistance Scheme reaches out to some 1073 families, or approximately 5320 persons in the municipality.
There is only one health house in the municipality situated in Malishevë/Mališevo town. It faces shortages of material and staffing problems. The staffing problems and medical shortages continue to affect quality of services and this is particularly reflected in remote rural areas. The municipality constructed 12 “ambulantas” through different donations in order to improve the delivery of health care service to the villages.

Malishevë/Mališevo municipality has 27 primary schools, including 16 satellite schools, with a total of 14,536 pupils. There are two secondary schools, one in Kijevë/Kijevo and one in Malishevë/Mališevo town with a total of 2,104 students.

In 2001, ADRA-Japan constructed new premises for the secondary school in Kijevë/Kijevo, a secondary school annex in Malishevë/Mališevo town, and three primary schools in different villages. Three schools were constructed by ALISEIItalia.
Sources: Malishevë/Mališevo Centre for Social Work; Municipal Department for Education, Culture and Sport; Municipal Department for Health and Social Policy

Sources: OSCE

 
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