By Staff Reporter
The Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo, has disclosed that the Tonse Allianse administration is building the capacity of senior officials in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) with skills and knowledge on how to detect and investment inexplicable self-enrichment, abuse of office and corrupt practices among public officer.
Mtambo has further stated that deliberate efforts are being made to encourage the invocation of tracing in the pursuit of restitution as a remedy, in addition to prosecution and forfeiture, as the incumbent leadership works to build a new Malawi.
The minister made the sentiments in Lilongwe on Monday when he launched the “Building Covid-19 Resilience through the promotion of Public Finance Management for Reduced Poverty and Inequality”.
The Catholic-based Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) will implement the project with financial support from the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The launch attracted members of Parliament (MPs) sitting on the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament, faith leaders, civic and leaders of the civil society organizations (CSOs) in Malawi.
Mtambo emphasized that while Covid-19 pandemic has taught the citizenry an unforgettable lesson that lesson that the government should not use the pandemics as an excuse for not delivery services to the citizenry.
“When we are fiscally responsible in better times, we will not feel the weight of financial pressures that come with worse times, AND, we will not use a global crisis such as the COVID-19 Pandemic as an excuse for fraud, corruption, non-compliance and poor service delivery.
Incorporating public financial responsibility in our efforts to build national resilience will significantly contribute to the management of risk in public and private entities, including risks related to illicit financial flows, organized crime, conflict of interests, price gouging, fraudulent financial reporting, counterfeit goods and bribery, among others,” he said.
Mtambo emphasized that incorporating public financial responsibility in the national efforts to build national resilience would significantly contribute to the management of risk in public and private entities, including risks related to illicit financial flows, organized crime, conflict of interests, price gouging, fraudulent financial reporting, counterfeit goods and bribery, among others.
At this point, the minister congratulated CfSC on the role it is playing to transform retrogressive structures in our Malawian societies through research and advocacy, so, as to ensure sustained change in policies for the betterment of all Malawians, and the protection of everyone’s indispensable right to human dignity.
Mtambo said he believes that, if Malawians can manage their public finances efficiently, Malawi will make great strides in reducing poverty and inequalities.
“My ministry sees a close link between poverty reduction and effective service delivery. This is why we are dedicated to improving civic knowledge and participation of the citizenry, so that together, we can prevent the waste of our hard-earned public resources, and together build a shared prosperity for everyone living in our great country Malawi,” he stated.
The minister challenged Malawians to stop criticizing President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera when things go wrong, but rather consider “breaking bread with the officials who serve them, and take keen interest in the management and monitoring of public resources in order to build Covid-19 resilience and move forward in developing our nation.
Mtambo implored the citizenry to “empower each other to demand transparency and accountability for the reduction of poverty and inequality.”
“Let us love our country, for as former president Barack Obama said, ‘In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it’,” he said.
In his remarks, the CfSC executive director Dr. James Ngahy said Malawi Malawi needs to learn from the neighbouring Tanzania on how the country can fast-track the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ngahy said Malawi needs “the Chakwerazation of the Tonse Alliance in order to make Malawi a ‘middle-income’ country sooner instead of adjourning it until
However, the Catholic Priest emphasized that this can only be possible with empowered citizenry.
“With empowered citizenry, every kwacha or fund that has been generated or received through grants will be transparently accounted for to the public without delay. This will restore trust and confidence, improve service delivery in all sectors amidst Covid-19 pandemic that has already caused a great number of fatalities in the country, particularly, for those working in the frontline. No one should be left behind in this fight; hence, the need for Transparency and Accountability in Public Finance Management,” he said.
Ngahy stated that it is against this background that CfSC initiated the project whose goal is to empower citizens to demand transparency and accountability in public financial management for reduced inequality and poverty.
“Our conference this morning, therefore, aims at developing synergy relevant to the stakeholders of Covid-19 Resilience through Promoting Transparency and Accountability in Public Finance Management for Reduced Poverty and Inequality,” he said.
Chairperson of Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament, Gladys Ganda, commended CfSC for initiating the project, which she described as crucial in achieving transparency and accountability in public expenditure.
Ganda assured the Centre of her committee’s full support toward the project.
“I should as well make it clear that the Budget and Finance Committee has powers to call upon the management of government departments and agencies to Parliament to answer where the Committee deems misappropriation or mismanagement of public finances after whose findings are made public,” she said.