CSOs Vital for Checks and Balances - CoST

Ching'ani Ching'ani - pic by Happy Njalam'mano

The Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) says there is a need to build capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) for effective checks and balances on public procurement.

CoST Chairperson, Joel Ching’ani, says procurement goes beyond just purchasing and it needs to be checked.

He said this on Tuesday in Blantyre during a training on procurement implementation that the organization organized for the CSOs.

“We do have mis-procurement and sometimes dubious dealings but we find comfort on realizing that we do have this cadre in our society called the voice of the voiceless. We also have the media.

“By capacitating these entities of our society, we are saying, here is the ammunition; go out and be the watchdogs,” he said.

National Construction Industry Council Acting Chief Executive Officer, Gerald Khonje, said the training is very important “because CSOs are a key partner in the development of the country.

“Construction is one of industries that involve a lot of public resources and has a big impact in terms of the outlook of the country. Good infrastructure symbolizes good life of the people.”

Sustainable Development Initiative Programme Manager, Praise Gospel Mwenekamba, said “when there is pilferage of public resources, it is not only one individual who suffers but many, whom some of them are very old and very young who could have been assisted with such funds in terms of social welfare and school fees for example.”

70 percent of national budget is spent on procurement where most of funds abuse allegedly takes place.

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