Communities where the Pan African Civic Educators Network (Pacenet) is implementing a Tilitonse-funded Zotheka Project say they have been empowered to audit projects in their areas.
The project is being implemented in Thyolo, Chiradzulu and Machinga districts and communities say it has empowered them to take to task those carrying out various development projects in their areas.
“We feel liberated and we are now able to ask how money allocated for various projects in our areas has been used. This has helped prevent construction of substandard infrastructures,” said Ngolongoliwa Area Development Committee (ADC) treasurer Maria Mangasanja.
She said: “Since the project teaches us how to approach service providers and demand development, we have seen both the constituency and local development funds being used prudently for projects such as construction of bridges and school blocks.”
She said, among others, knowledge tapped from the Zotheka Project has helped communities monitor the construction of Ngolongoliwa Court.
Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngolongoliwa of Thyolo said apart from empowering communities to follow up on how money meant for development projects is used, implementation of the programme has also seen people taking a leading role in initiating development activities.
He said, among others, the project has helped communities revive and complete projects that had stalled.
In Chiradzulu, chairperson for community-based organisations (CBOs) networking committee in Sub-Traditional Authority (ST/A) Mpunga’s area, Ishmael Mwamadi, said the project has helped end friction between stakeholders in development works. n