Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance says there is an increased misperception of two development bags that are designed to necessitate development activities in constituency and local levels in the country.
Mwanza Project Coordinator for C.H.R.E.A.A Boxten Kudziwe made the observation after several public awareness meetings with villagers in the district whose main purpose was to learn if the voters understand and differentiate Constituency Development Fund and Local Development Fund.
It has come to our attention that voters do not really understand what should be expected of their duty bearers once they are voted to power. This misconception if avoided would warrant villagers a clear anticipation of development activities from Councilors and Members of Parliament, Said Kudziwe.
He urged duty bearers and stakeholders to increase awareness on the two so that voters make informed decisions when electing leaders.
Stakeholders, Councilors and MPs should openly disclose how much is allocated to constituencies and wards respectively and highlight their roles during campaign to avoid these misunderstandings. In so doing voter apathy which results from false promises would be avoided, added Kudziwe.
Subsequently, Maxwell Panganani, a minibus operator in Mwanza expressed lack of knowledge on the two Funds saying duty bearers have a tendency of buying coffins and handouts during campaign period which makes him wonder if this tradition is sustainable.
What we know is that noticeable development comes from the government but to distinguish who should really do what and who is funding what project is something that we are yet to identify. If for example, a bridge is constructed each duty bearer claims they used money from their pockets especially during campaign period, worried Panganani.
Malawi government joined other African countries in adopting the systems of Constituency Development Fund and Local Development Fund to allow elected leaders respond directly to demands from their constituents, harmonization of resources and ensure project delivery in the face of ineffective and corrupt local development structures.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA