As issues of financial mismanagement and corruption in councils are becoming common, the citizenry have been blamed for not playing an active oversight role.
This was said during a public debate organized by Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) in Kasungu on Wednesday.
Speaking during the debate National Local Government Finance Committee Deputy Director Syak Mwamondwe, said it is difficult to say whether there is financial mismanagement and corruption in councils since it is difficult to see it, however he said people have to take an active role to see what is happening in their councils.
He said,“There is always a lot of suspicion that councils embezzle money and that there is rampant corruption because the people themselves do not demand reports and that most of the times the council secretariat do not give out these reports.”
Mwamondwe said every citizen has the right to know what is happening in the councils in as far as financial management is concerned because this would minimize suspicion.
He said councils must also play the role of posting all its activities on notice boards so that people must be able to see them even without requesting.
Kasungu District Commissioner, Reverend Moses Chimphepo said it might be a few councils that are really involved in this malpractice, but it appears that people feel it is all councils.
“This is just a perception; it is when someone has really been found to have embezzled public money that one can say there is corruption in councils. Usually the amount of money that comes to councils is declared and no money goes out of the councils without being accounted for,” the DC said
The debate which is one in a series of debates that MALGA has organized in all the regions saw people accuse council of inefficiencies in public projects, mismanagement of funds in Constituency and Local Development Fund and also revenue generated by councils themselves.