Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of Lilongwe Archdiocese has expressed concern over the absence of members of Parliament (MPs) during development meetings in Dowa.
CCJP governance officer Mwai Sandram observed on Friday that constituencies cannot register meaningful social and economic transformation when MPs do not attend area development committee (ADC) and area executive committee (AEC) meetings.
“The Local Government Act states that an MP is a member of the development committees in his constituency,” said Sandram.
He made the remarks during a meeting, which CCJP organised in Dowa with financial support from Tilitonse Fund through Dan Church Aid.
He said while information on funds like Local Development Fund and development budget is ably provided during full council meetings, Constituency Development Fund (CDF) information is not available.
“Most projects implemented through CDF resources are decided by the MP, which is also against the CDF guidelines. The guidelines say MPs should at least once a year organise a meeting with chiefs, councillors and ADC/urban development committees, to identify and prioritise projects,” he explained.
Dowa-Ngala MP Elias Chakwera, however, argued that development committees are to blame for failing to communicate with their MPs about development meetings.
Chakwera further accused non-governmental organisations of sowing seeds of confusion and division between MPs and their constituents. n