Youths in Karonga have asked duty-bearers to uphold transparency and accountability when implementing public projects and recruiting workers for various initiatives in the district.
Mbande Youth Network chairperson Davie Kitalu made the call on Saturday during a meeting the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) organised with the youth, women and disability forum members.
The meeting was a follow-up initiative to check if there were any changes after the youth raised similar concerns few months ago.
Kitalu said: “We have been complaining about lack of transparency and accountability on how recruitment of support staff is done at the council and on the implementation of funded projects.
“Authorities have promised us to change, but up to now there is no improvement. Tenets of democracy require duty-bearers to promote transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.”
He urged the council secretariat to walk the talk by providing vital information to restore public trust.
Karonga district social welfare officer Peggy Gondwe admitted that the youth’s concerns were genuine.
She said: “My office, through sensitisation meetings, has been getting those reports.
“However, we are working to address them, especially gender injustices to create an inclusive society that is free from corrupt practices and that promotes transparency and accountability.”
On his part, EAM advocacy officer the Reverend Robert Masikamu described the meeting as fruitful, saying it provided a platform for the youth, women and persons with disability to present issues that affect them to duty-bearers.
He said: “We wanted to follow up on issues these advocacy groups presented few months ago in connection with public service delivery and accountability at the council.
“However, we still hear about the shortage of drugs in public hospitals, lack of transparency and accountability at the council and various forms of gender injustice in recruiting workers.”
With funding from Germany ecumenical donor Bread for the World, EAM is implementing a three-year Enhancing Church Engagement in Peace Building, Electoral Governance and Decentralisation in Karonga, Lilongwe and Mulanje districts.