LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s social monitoring body Center For Social Concern (CFSC) says Malawians fail to demand transparent and accountable public finance management, enabling duty bearers to abuse public resources due to low literacy and lack of knowledge on policies, laws of public finance management.
This is contained in CFSC report shared and disseminated to the public on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 in the capital Lilongwe.
The report is titled “How citizen participation enhances good public finance management” and comes as a result of the “Strengthening the Capacity of Citizens to Demand Transparency and Accountability in Public Finance Management for Reduced Poverty and Inequality,” a project CFSC has been implementing with funding from GIZ–a German development agency.
It recommends ministries of Finance and Civic Education and National Unity to put in place “deliberate efforts and mechanisms” to empower communities to be able to participate in effective public finance management.
“This lack of knowledge on policies and laws of public finance management indicates minimal civic education among citizens with regard to their roles and responsibilities for them to actively participate in public finance management on projects taking place in their communities. Thus capacity building should be emphasized in communities. People should take ownership of the projects if social economic development would be achieved and ultimately reducing inequalities and poverty levels,” the report reads in part.
CFSC director, James Ngahy, commended the report, urging all relevant stakeholders to work together in fulfilling the recommendations of the report.
“The report is quite comprehensive. It presents facts and evidence that would be acted upon. We will continue engaging with government especially on the need to carry out civic education on policies and laws of public finance management so that people are aware and do the needful,” said Ngahy.
Civic Education Minister Timothy Mtambo described the findings of the research as “intriguing” and “very touching”.
“We must indeed empower the communities together. Citizens are weak when it comes to demanding transparency and accountability from duty bearers. This report offers a starting point for Malawi to embrace effective public finance management,” said Mtambo
CFSC is implementing the public finance management project in order to improve public financial management for reduced inequality and poverty through improved transparency and accountability at all levels.
The centre strongly believes that active citizen participation in public finance management will enhance transparency and accountability that will lead to reduced poverty and inequality.
The project comes against the background of prevailing corruption and mismanagement of public resources in Malawi–which CFSC says is becoming “increasingly widespread and pose a serious challenge to development”.
Centre for Social Concern (CFSC) is a social and research arm of the Roman Catholic church in Malawi.