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Nsanje Stakeholders Hail MAPE Programme

Malunga making a presentation Malunga making a presentation - pic by Alfred Guta

Stakeholders in Nsanje say NICE Public Trust’s Multi-Annual Programme Estimate (MAPE) has made a difference in empowering communities to engage duty bearers on various issues affecting them.

They said this on Thursday during the presentation of results for MAPE to the council.

Mathias Chilumba, Malemia Area Development Committee (ADC) Chairperson said that “NICE has really assisted in good governance and project management.

He nevertheless implored it to improve on capacity building of community structures.

Henry Zongoloti, Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) Contact Person for Nsanje, added that “it has helped a lot in building the capacity among the citizens who are now able to track down projects.”

Zongoloti, however, appealed for more funding saying it is failing to reach some areas because of funding concerns.

NICE Public Trust District Civic Education Officer for Nsanje and Chikwawa districts, Kondwani Malunga, has singled out the establishment of citizen forums as some of the major highlights.

“These citizen forums are able to engage duty bearers on issues that affect their communities. For example, Mbenje citizen forum managed to engage the district health office, education and police, after the engagement, issues they were resolved.

He added, “Phokera Citizen Forum managed to intercept stolen items, Misamvu Citizen Forum engaged the office DHO, after a health post in Misamvu stopped receiving drugs for four years. After being empowered, they managed to engage the officer and Sorgin and Nsanje DHO, after that they started getting the drugs.

According to Malunga, this demonstrates that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities in the community.

On Challenges, Malunga, cited insufficient funding levels, saying they haven’t been able to reach all areas as expected and that by empowering citizens to demand transparency and accountability they are seen as trying to police the duty bearers.”

The EU pumped 10 million Euros to NICE Public Trust, to implement activities for five years under the Chilungamo Justice and Accountability project.

The project focused on addressing Malawi’s governance challenges namely; lack of transparency and accountability amongst duty bearers and weak accountability institutions and limited capacity of the citizens to demand and claim their rights.

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