Authorities in Nkhata Bay have expressed worry over poor understanding of policies among citizens in the district, describing the situation as a threat to development.
This came to light yesterday during a training organised by World Vision Malawi (WVM) for civil society organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders on implementation of development projects.
The meeting observed that most Malawians are not aware of the contents of policies that were developed for their own benefit.
Nkhata Bay Citizen Voice and Action coordinator Arthur Mpumulo said this is why some leaders take advantage of the ignorance to abuse power and resources.
He cited the controversy that surrounds the administration and management of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), saying it would not be there if people understood the policy.
“We have seen in some cases where CDF money has been used to buy coffins contrary to its intended purpose to finance major developmental project, for the benefit of the general public,” Mpumulo said.
Edrian Kalengo, who is in charge of open and distance learning (ODL) programmes in the district, said his sector is not spared as some duty-bearers demand services which are not in line with the provision in the Education Policy.
“It is somehow confusing because even those who are supposed to uphold the policies are also blind. I think something should be done at national level to change this environment if we are to develop,” said Kalengo.
He said most policies in Malawi have technical jargon, making it hard for the average person to understand.
Citizen Voice and Action has since promised to support interpretation of such useful documents into vernacular languages for increased understanding among the people. n