Council for Non Governmental Organizations in Malawi (CONGOMA) says politicians are interfering in the management of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in District Councils.
The remarks have been made by the Executive Director for CONGOMA Ronald Mtonga during a National Policy Round-up meeting for Public Procurement Project in Lilongwe today.
He said findings of a project on Civic Participation in Public Procurement in three districts show that politicians meddle in managing CDF thereby disturbing public procurement processes related to the projects.
“There is need for separation of powers of the MPs and Councils. Reduced conflict of interest is also vital to ensure that the allocated money can be used for intended purposes,” he said.
Mtonga said the Lilongwe meeting has been convened to disseminate the findings of the research to better inform the future of public procurement in local councils.
He called upon Malawians to participate in public Procurement projects happening in their areas and monitor the quality of projects and if it is what they need.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Director of Administration in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Victor Chinyama Sandikonda appreciated the work CONGOMA has been doing.
He said the exposed issues will help the ministry in creating adequate safeguards to avoid diverting from appropriate public procurement norms.
“Government will work with CONGOMA and other stakeholders to make sure that issues of public procurement are done transparently in all District Councils across the country,” he said.
In his remarks, Chief Professional Development Officer in the Public Pocurement and Disposal of Assets Authority Peter Makanga expressed concern because the project is going to an end.
“We are happy that CONGOMA has performed a very critical role in monitoring public procurement processes and contracts. But our worry is that the project is coming to an end when it has only looked at 3 District Councils,” he lamented.
Makanga said such a project is essential in all of the country’s 28 districts.
The project started last year and it has been implemented in Lilongwe, Rumphi and Balaka with funding from Tilitonse foundation.