Citizens in Koche Ward in Mangochi Central Constituency have been advised to hold their duty-bearers accountable if the area is to develop.
National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust civic education officer Turner Banda said this during a meeting Koche Citizen Forum organised in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponda in the district.
The advice followed concerns that the area faces acute shortage of school blocks, teachers’ houses, potable water and health facilities, among other essential services.
Banda said meaningful development takes place only when community members are vigilant in summoning duty-bearers and demanding quality and sustainable development from them.
“Development cannot take place if people remain voiceless on crucial issues that can transform their areas. It needs people to wake up from their deep slumber, get hold of the ‘development doers’ and demand what rightly belongs to them as enshrined in the Constitution.
“The absence of citizen forums has culminated in a passive society which has failed to question duty-bearers and service providers when they fail to fulfil their promises,” he said.
Banda also said Nice Trust, with financial support from European Union (EU), will continue amplifying citizens’ voices.
In his remarks, group village head Matuwi said citizen forums empower citizens to demand development from relevant authorities. He conceded that his area is lacking development. n