The European Union (EU)Ambassador, Marchel Gerrmann has described as disheartening revelations of widespread abuse of public funds, especially Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in the country.
He has since warned that with this lack of accountability, Malawi risks losing money which could have been used to increase the services in sectors such as health, education and agriculture.
Gerrmann issued the warning following revelations of a report by civil society organisations (CSOs) in Rumphi which shows that millions of kwacha in the 2016/17 fiscal year were allegedly spent on unnamed projects or on expenditures whose materials were not known.
According to the report, the issues involve 58 percent of K10 030 700 in Rumphi West Constituency; 42 percent of K11 148 004 in Rumphi Central Constituency and 88.5 percent of K10 764 330 in Rumphi East Constituency.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting aimed at sharing the report in Rumphi on Wednesday, Gerrmann warned that Malawi will not attain any meaningful development in the absence of accountability.
“How did the past projects go? Were the structures of good quality? Were the various infrastructures completed? If we all want to achieve development in the communities, districts and for Malawi, then we need to stress the aspect of accountability.
“Development does not go without accountability. We need to investigate how the money has been spent, we need to check on the quality and we need to learn from the experiences for the future,” he said.
Gerrmann then urged authorities in the country to embrace certain points beyond accountability that include ensuring that received funds reach intended purpose, that there is value for money and that everybody interested must follow the issues.
The Rumphi report, Turning CDF Implementation Challenges Into Positive Implementation Changes—Change Is Not Made Without Inconvenience, has been produced by the Rumphi Civil Society Network (RUCSN), in collaboration with ActionAid Malawi and Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet).
Action Aid Malawi executive director Grace Malera said there have been many issues surrounding administration of CDF, hence the survey.