Te Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) in Chikwawa Diocese has urged local authorities to act on allegations of rampant corrupt practices taking place within their structures.
Chikwawa CCJP diocesan secretary Lewis Msiyadungu said this on Wednesday in the district where they held talks with traditional and religious leaders in relation to findings established under a project called Enhancing Women Active Citizenship Participation and their Economic Empowerment.
The findings, among others, touched on initiation ceremonies, Nyau cult, early marriages as well as social cash transfers and distribution of relief items which are reported to be marred by corruption.
Said Msiyadungu: “It is sad that these practices are happening in the local structures at village and group village head level involving developmental issues. People are being asked to pay a little something for them to be registered for public works programmes.”
On cultural practices that are negatively impacting on the communities, he said his office understands that practices are there to enrich culture, but what was being practised was putting vulnerable women and children at a risk.
“We will continue empowering these vulnerable people so that they know their rights and report them to relevant authorities. We want to take duty-bearers to task so that they should not exploit these vulnerable women and children,” he said.
Traditional Authority Chapananga said he was aware that some village heads are soliciting money from the people to be favoured in various developmental programmes.
He warned that those perpetrating the malpractices will be dealt with. n