Ombudsman for the republic of Malawi, Grace Malera on Thursday, May 4, 2023 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Voice of Accountability project for production of radio and television programs called Kulondoloza.
With financial help from the European Union, the project is being implemented by Proman.
Through the partnership, the Office of the Ombudsman will cease the platform to sensitise the general public to exercise their rights and push for transparency and accountability from duty bearers.
Malera said matters of Public Finance Management (PFM) are intricately linked to the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman which borders on investigating administrative and systemic failures that impede on people’s rights.
The Ombudsman said failure by public officials to go by laid down procedures, policies and guidelines when doing their work are a form of maladministration.
“Public Finance Management which is the focus of the Kulondoloza Program is one of the core areas that this institution mandates us to work on, pushing for accountability and transparency in public service delivery. We provide oversight on the entire chain around making decisions on what resources to allocate to what service and the prioritization that government will have…” she explained.
Honorable Malera reiterated that the issues of corruption that are rife in Malawi are facilitated by unethical conducts which constitute maladministration which is a major focus area for her office.
“Yes Parliament allocates the resources to health, education, agriculture you name it; but are they making their way to the right MDAs, is that happening timely and are they used for the intended purpose? Are people accountable or not?” she queried.
The Ombudsman pointed out that in 2022 the office conducted three systemic investigations of which two were on how district councils failed to account for resources which were meant for mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Malera then hailed the councils on promptly responding to recommendations in her two reports, adding that the office of the Ombudsman is keen on seeing strengthen systems on how public resources are used by relevant offices.
She then hinted that her office is concluding its investigations on the Affordable Input Program which government implements through the Ministry of Agriculture, saying there is need for a candid conversation on whether the program should continue in its current format and if whether the over K100 billion budgetary allocation is a worthwhile investment.
Project Director for Kulondoloza Malawi Georges Drouet said the campaign provides a holistic communication ecosystem that gives voice to the Malawians to claim accountability from their leaders and public offices.
He then welcomed the partnership with the office of the Ombudsman which will see production of episodes of the radio and television programs in three months airing on national and community platforms.
Source: Ombudsman of the Republic of Malawi