8 March 2014

Malawi: GIZ Supports Councils and CSOS Collaboration

Kasungu — GIZ says there is need for Civil Society Organsiations (CSO) to collaborate with District and Town councils if pluralistic society is to be developed.

Senior Advisor for GIZ- Malawi Government Programme on Democracy and Decentralization (MGPDD), Viwemi Chavula said this during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CSOs in Kasungu and the Kasungu Municipal Council.

Chavula said GIZ-MGPDD has thought it wise to support the collaboration of Councils and Non State Actors so that the two sides work together.

He said this will help councils deliver their mandate according to the Local Government Act, Constitution and also the decentralization policy.

"It is expected that through third initiative, CSOs will advocate for councils which is important for the development of the idea of a pluralistic society,

"We believe that through CSO/Council initiative the ultra poor population gets access to mainstream development programs.

"We also believe that through this collaboration councils can be supported to be more transparent and accountable to residents," said Chavula.

On the Memorandum of Understanding which has been signed by KUMC and the CSOs, Chavula said this offers an opportunity for civil society in the town to maximize bridging the gap with the citizens.

"We expect residents to be more involved in planning and budgeting as they enhance service delivery of the council," he said.

GIZ-MGPDD is also being implemented in ten other districts apart from Kasungu.

Kasungu Municipal Council Chief Executive Officer Rodrick Mateauma welcomed the idea saying it will resolve some of challenges that have been there.

"We used to work as enemies before this MOU and also we used to concentrate a lot on one area thereby making other areas suffer,

"Pointing fingers between the two sides was also order of the day, but hopefully this will be improved," said the CEO.

The MOU is looking at areas like Health, Education, Good Governance, Agriculture and Human Rights.

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