World Vision Malawi officials are asking authorities in the northern district of Karonga to be transparent in their operation of various activities in the district if they are to earn trust from the communities on how they are utilizing developmental funds.
Speaking during the implementation meeting of Citizen Voice and Action which aims to impart the citizens with responsibility and ownership of developmental activities in their communities, World Vision’s Regional Advocacy Coordinator for the South, Wongani Nyirongo said district authorities meet opposing forces from members of community because they do not communicate what they want to do with the funding that they have received from the central government.
“You service givers, don’t tell your ‘customers’ what you have on the table and you don’t communicate about the amount of funding that you have received and how you have allocated your services this gives suspicion to the community on how the funds have been used,” said Nyirongo.
She said that government officials should let citizens decide what they want in their communities and not deciding projects for them.
“Sometimes the problem is that when you ask the community what they want you don’t fulfill their demands and instead you do what can surpass the available funds without knowledge from the community,” said Nyirongo.
Government officials agreed that lack of community involvement in government activities may lead to violence in the district saying communities have bad perception on the amount of funds that they receive.
“Yes is true that due to lack of dialogue with members of community on how the funds have been shared and how much we are given contribute to lack of trust from the communities on us government officials because they always think we misappropriate the funds,” said Kerrie Mhone, the district’s Community Development Officer.
Mhone said the concept has come at the right time as the district is coming up with the service charter to sensitive the community on development activities which the government intends to implement in their various locations, a development which he said will promote dialogue with the community.