CCJP urges speedy access to information among councils

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) in Chikwawa said on Thursday that duty bearers should open up in providing information to development partners arguing that failing to do would negative impact development.

Msiyadungu: Access to information vital for development

The sentiment comes when CCJP is said to have problems in accessing budget information for particular projects which is making it difficult to track progress of projects implemented in the district.

Chikwawa CCJP’s Diocesan Secretary Lewis Msiyadungu said his organization through the project called “Citizen Action for Local Governance Accountability (CALGA)” realized that the flow of information from the council to the citizens was a problem especially on issues of finances.

“Through our Public Expenditure Tracking, we had a lot of difficulties to get figures that were coming from central government to our local councils.

“Information is scanty on projects like Local Development Fund (LDF), Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and the District Development Fund (DDF). So it is becoming a major challenge for locals to track progress of projects,” Msiyadungu said.

He added that tracking process was not effective enough because some of the figures were missing.

Msiyadungu said that the challenge in the flow of information sends out a wrong message to rights holders as it creates suspicion and distrust.

But in a separate interview, Chikwawa District Commissioner Fred Movete said there could be communication breakdown between the council’s finance staff and CCJP saying they have got nothing to hide.

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