Hivos Foundation in conjunction with Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) have urged the media in the country to take part in promoting Open Contracting (OC),in a bid to improve disclosure of public contracting information and accountability in public works.
Speaking on Wednesday during an Inception meeting for the Multi-Stakeholder Group in Open Contracting in Lilongwe, Hivos Foundation Country Coordinator, Baldwin Chiyamwaka said the media have a great role to play in publicizing information pertaining to open contracting and procurement of goods in public works.
“Media are crucial in disseminating information concerning public contracting and procurement of goods. This helps members of the general public to be involved in making decisions related to the procurement of goods and contract agreements between government and stakeholders including companies,” said Chiyamwaka.
He advised journalists in the country to develop interest in investigating and analyzing public contracts in order to be easily understandable by the general public.
“Journalists should move from writing events based stories concerning open contracting and procurement of goods,hence they should build curiosity in interpreting and analyzing contracts focusing on its implications and strengths, so that people should easily understand,” he advised.
Currently, Hivos in partnership with other organizations including MEJN are working with editors from various media houses such as Nyasa Times, Zodiak Broadcasting Cooperation, Times Group and Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC), The Nation, who are trained on how their reporters can report on issues of public contracts and procurement of goods by public sectors in the country.
Chiyamwaka is optimistic that,involving journalists in issues concerning public contracting and procurement of goods would help reduce cases of corruption which happen during the signing of contracts and procurement of goods in the country, saying the journalists act as watchdogs of the country.
In her remarks, MEJN Acting Executive Director, June Kambalametore said involving the media and other stakeholders in the issues concerning public contracting and procurement would also help promote accountability and transparency in contracting processes and procurement of goods in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :