To promote transparency and accountability in public expenditure at Nsanje District Council, Tiphedzane Community Support Organisation (Ticoso) at the weekend empowered stakeholders in public expenditure tracking (PET).
Speaking during a day-long workshop at Nsanje Boma, Ticoso executive director Mike Dansa said an open administration of public expenditure enhances democracy.
He said: “There was an outcry from stakeholders such as chiefs and faith-based organisations on the way public funds were being managed by the council and politicians.
“Therefore, this necessitated this training workshop under our Governance and Accountability Project to empower them on how to track public expenditure in different sectors such as health and education to ensure evidence-based advocacy.”
He also said accountability of public funds and developmental projects helps to strengthen partnerships and coordination among different players.
Robert Chavi, councillor for Nyachilenda Ward in Nsanje South Constituency, said Local Development Fund (LDF) and Constituency Development Fund (CDF) were being heavily politicised.
“[Before] this workshop we didn’t know that different stakeholders have a right to monitor LDF and CDF because of the way they are handled by some sections of society,” he said.
Nsanje District Council chairperson Andrew Piriminta described the workshop as an eye-opener for many players, particularly councillors.
The workshop was organised with support from National Democratic Institute (NDI) and attracted 40 participants.
NDI resident country director Sandy Quimbay said the organisation wants to vibrant community participation in public expenditure. n