The National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust has challenged communities in Bilila Ward in Ntcheu to be vigilant in tracking Constituency Development Fund (CDF) money if they are to achieve meaningful development in their respective areas.
The call comes in the wake of reports that most constituents in the area do not know how much CDF money is available, a situation which has slackened development in the area.
Speaking at Bilila Ward when Nice organised an interface meeting between duty-bearers and community members, Nice Central Region civic education officer Christopher Naphiyo said CDF money is subjected to abuse by most custodians due to the community’s ignorance and lack of capacity on the part of the constituents to hold duty-bearers accountable.
“The CDF knowledge gaps that have been there among communities emanates from lack of civic empowerment. Had it been that the constituents were tutored on their rights and responsibilities, things of this nature would not have been there. I, therefore, call upon the communities to start holding duty-bearers accountable if development is to be entrenched,” said Naphiyo.
He, however, emphasised the need to promote citizen participation if such challenges are to be dealt with.
Speaking in unison, communities in the area vowed to take to task their duty-bearers whenever they experience a gap in development.
With financial support from the European Union (EU), Nice Trust is implementing a governance programme called Programme Estimate Number Three (PE 3) aimed at enhancing democratic governance among communities at local level.