The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust says it is high time Malawians stopped complaining passively about corruption and fraud at both local and central government levels and seriously started demanding accountability from duty bearers.
NICE Trust’s executive director Ollen Mwalubunju made the sentiments Thursday in Mzuzu during a luncheon with members of Nyika Media Club, a grouping of media practitioners in the northern region.
“Most Malawians are complaining; for instance, most of the times if the leadership that is in place is not really helping them, they just complain.
“So what we [NICE] are saying is that we [Malawians] should not just complain but…should take part in changing the status quo by holding duty bearers accountable.
“For instance, there is corruption; some duty bearers in district councils are stealing money but the law is not really being used to deal with the culprits,” Mwalubunju said.
To this effect, Mwalubunju said NICE notes that most Malawians are not empowered to hold duty bearers accountable and, therefore, it (NICE) will shift its focus from public awareness to community empowerment and mobilization.
“Most of our people are not empowered, they don’t have a voice. So we want to provide civic education that will make them assertive so that they are able to voice.
“So if they will have a voice, they will be able to engage duty bearers to account for their action. As a result, there will be a reduction in corruption both at central and local government level,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nyika Media Club has pledged to take an active role in educating the masses on governance as well as creating space for marginalized groups to voice out their needs and grievances as a solution to fighting corruption which deters development of the country.
Chairperson for the club WanangwaTembo cherished the exiting partnership between Nyika Media Club and NICE and hoped for continued and strengthened relationship amongst the two.
NICE was established in 1999 as a project of Malawi Government with support from the European Union (EU) to provide civic education to the masses on democratic rights and responsibilities; and the people’s participation in the democratic decision-making process at all levels.
In 2012 it became a Public Trust with a mission to deepen democracy and good governance among Malawians through provision of civic and voter education, community empowerment and mobilization, knowledge management and networking.
Recently, EU and Malawi signed a new agreement which will see the former provide about K35 billion towards supporting governance in the next four to five years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :