Chiwondo cautions constituents to be vigilant in LDF projects

Mangochi, Communities in Mangochi have been advised to be vigilant in the implementation of Local Development Fund projects particularly in the identification and registration of beneficiaries to avoid malpractices which derail progress.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Mangochi West, Geoffrey Chiwondo gave the advice on Friday during a sensitization meeting of Mvumba Area Development Committee (ADC) at the headquarters of Senior Chief Nankumba in the district.

He said the district was suspended from receiving funds from the Malawi Social Action Fund for the implementation of different Local Development Fund (LDF) projects because there were a number of irregularities in the previous cycle which can be avoided if all governance structures remained vigilant during the implementation process.

As some of you may be aware, we have been put on hold for some months without funding from MASAF because there were several hiccups which were a contribution from some council officials, chiefs and councilors, Chiwondo said.

The MP emphasized that councilors and community leaders had a crucial role to play in the execution of LDF projects which include provision of governance roles and not taking the responsibility of communities and the secretariat.

He said communities on the other hand were supposed to be fully engaged in the identification and selection of beneficiaries and sub projects to ensure ownership and sustainability of the same.

The legislator commended the council for taking the revised guidelines to local communities, saying it is in line with the dictates of decentralization which emphasizes on transparency and accountability as well as following a bottom up approach to development.

We are very proud of you, council officials for finding time to come for the briefing � it makes people move along with the council at the same speed, Chiwondo remarked.

Mvumba ADC chairperson, Twaha Namwanja asked the council to ensure that there was effective and clear communication to beneficiaries especially on wage payment to avoid challenges faced in the previous cycle whereby others did not receive their wages due to poor communication.

Group Village Headman Mdzodzo encouraged his fellow traditional leaders and the ADC to be in the forefront in spearheading development activities in the area for the betterment of their subjects.

He conceded that sometimes troubles in project implementation emanate from traditional leaders, calling on them to cultivate a selfless spirit in order to serve people better in the pursuit of uplifting their living standards.

MPs and Councilors together with our Senior Chief (Nankumba) represent us at the council and our role at this level, therefore, is to translate all the plans developed by such people from the district, he pointed out.

At least 20, 261 people are expected to benefit from the regular MASAF 4 � Phase 3 catchment management initiative while another 10, 131 will benefit from emergency recovery projects which include land resource conservation, environmental and forestry management among others.

Mangochi District Council has received K189 million from MASAF after its suspension was lifted following some irregularities bordering on not following procurement procedures and involving ghost workers leading to the arrest of some council officials whose case is still in court.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA