More corrupt and fraudulent transactions on the plunder of public resources are expected to be exposed in district councils nationwide, thanks to the training sessions ward councillors undergo in budget tracking and effective administration.
Malawi Local Government Association (Malga) president Samson Chaziya said this on Sunday in a 30-minute Tiuzeni Zoona programme on Zodiak Broadcasting Station.
“If some government officials and contractors are being arrested now for plundering public resources in district councils these days, that is partly because of the councillors after undergoing the eye-opening courses.
“The councillors are alert against corruption and fraud because they know that it is the ordinary Malawian who loses out and suffers by being denied effective development programmes. Malga is proud that more councillors are committed to fighting the societal ills and bringing culprits to book,” he said in the midday programme monitored by The Nation.
Chaziya admitted that when decentralisation was re-introduced nearly three years ago, councillors had to shake-off public misconceptions that indicated that they were an unnecessary duplication of more effective members of Parliament (MPs).
“It is only in these days that many see the critical roles of councillors as facilitators of rural development and of giving the grassroots a voice in national governance,” he said.
Added Chaziya: “I salute some key development partners, including the European Union and the United Nations family, and the government for their commitment to decentralisation, despite some lingering resistance to change in some quarters of society.”
Commenting on the development, Pan African Civic Educators Network (Pacenet) executive director Steve Duwa commended Malga for facilitating the training sessions on budget tracking and management, saying this has made councillors more alert against the abuse of public funds.
But he pointed out that the rivalry between councillors and MPs needs to be ironed out conclusively; otherwise, the ordinary citizenry will continually get a raw deal in the decentralisation process through push-and-pull factors by the two tussling office holders. n