Citizens not benefiting from public finances – CFSC

By Our Reporter:

Centre for Social Concern (CFSC) has said the decentralization that took place in 1998 has not benefited malawians over the years.

The center said this on Monday night during a panel discussion on whether citizens are benefiting from decentralised public finance management that was organisationised by CFSC.

CFSC Program Officer Responsible for Governance Bernard Mphepo said comments from the discussion has given a picture that people are not satisfied with decentralisation process so far .

He said according to the decentralisation policy, local councils have the mandate to ensure that the resources are benefiting the citizens.

He added that councils have the mandate to ensure development goes to down the citizens ,and their role is critical because they are closer to the people ,” he said.

He said Citizens were expecting a lot of significant changes after the decentralisation policy was launched in 1998.

“Ideally as centre for social concern we commissioned a report just to get the perception of the citizens on issues of decentralisation and public finance management.

Malawi Local government Associations Acting Executive Director Hardload Mkandawire said in most of the councils particularly the district councils there is the issue of capacity as they do not have adequate staff because the human resource is retained by the central government.

“we have also observed that the central government has devolved a number of sectors to the councils unfortunately those sectors have gone to the councils without corresponding budgets,” said Mkandawire.

However he said decentralisation has produced fruits in other countries because local governments are adequately resourced.

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