Member of Parliament for Nkhota kota North East Constituency, Martha Lunji has called on Government to ensure enough allocation of resources to oversight institutions, saying this is an essential aspect in enhancing issues of human rights and justice for Malawians.
This she said would also in the process develop and lead into effective operations of these oversight institutions, the office of the Ombudsman, The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), The Malawi Police Service and the National Assembly.
Lunji made the call during her contribution towards the Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee report presented in Parliament Tuesday afternoon.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Lunji said these institutions conduct oversight functions and need to be empowered to perform accordingly.
“For example the National Assembly needs to pass the national budget. But in order for us to track the budget; we need to meet at the committee level so that we have chances to ask officials how they are implementing that particular budget and we also relate whether that is happening at the grassroots level.
“But if there are no funds, how can members travel to the national assembly and track the budget?” Queried Lunji.
The legislature in her words highlighted the importance of making available resources for the ACB particularly with the Cash-gate issue.
“If we underfund the graft bursting body, it cannot undertake its duties effectively which will at the same time not be good for the nation. This will result into the rise of corrupt practices as the responsible personnel will not be able to combat corruption,” she said.
On the Ombudsman office, Lunji said it becomes a challenge for the rural masses to access justice when their rights have been violated as it is difficult for them to hire a lawyer to represent them before the courts of law.
Lunji also added that people face various challenges in the public sector and work places ranging from misunderstandings with their bosses to improper dismissals.
In these and other cases, according to her, the Ombudsman and institutions like the Legal Aid which offers legal services to people in the rural areas who cannot afford to hire a lawyer becomes the only place people may turn to seek remedy.
“So if we underfund these kinds of institutions, you will find that our own citizens will be suffering in silence with no institution coming to their rescue for legal redress.
“That is why I am saying let us protect human rights by adequately funding these institutions,” said Lunji.
According to the parliamentary Budget and Finance committee report on the proposed 2014/2015 budget, some of the oversight institutions include the ACB which has been proposed to receive K 1.42 billion and the Malawi Police Service has been earmarked with K 12.47 billion.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :