National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust has called on authorities to investigate a safe motherhood non-governmental organisation for stealing money from villagers in Dowa.
The NGO, Mponela Motherhood Development Organisation, has been soliciting money from village committees it established for its operations in the district.
The revelations came to light during a daylong workshop co-jointly organised by Kasalika Development Community and journalAids held at Mponela in the district.
The two organisations are implementing a three year project to strengthen Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) advocacy for vulnerable communities.
Mponela Motherhood Development Organisation is also implementing similar interventions targeting the same communities of Traditional Authorities Mponela and Dzoole in the district.
Nice Trust Civic Education Coordinator for Mponela Mphatso M’bang’ombe said his office is greatly concerned with revelations that Mponela Motherhood Development Organisation is soliciting money amounting to K2,000 for its operations from each community committee it establishes.
“The allegations need to be investigated as soon as possible so that the project the organisation is implementing should not be centred on enriching themselves at the expense of the poor people in the district,” M’bang’ombe said.
According to the reports, the organisation received Chief Mponela’s signature for its project implementation without following the laid down procedures such as registering with the council and CSO network and it was not introduced to Area and Village Development Committees.
The organisation started soliciting the K2,000s from 10 communities in the area of Traditional Authority Mponela as part of fundraising to help it meet the relevant authorities for possible solutions affecting mothers of T/A Mponela on its safe motherhood project.
Group village headman Kasalika is reported to have joined the organisation as its chair but, when contacted, he said he resigned from working with the organisation in November, 2017 after realising that the organisation was obtaining money from the poor communities.
GVH Kasalika claimed that at the time of his resignation, a total of 145 communities were reached and each community paid K2000 in the areas of T/A Mponela and Dzoole B with a possibility that the number of committees might have gone up covering the area of Dzoole A.
On her part, Senior Group Jonasi admitted to have received complaints from her subjects for the NGOS’ involvement in soliciting funds from poor people.
When contacted, GVH Zamala admitted the presence of the NGO in the area saying hearing of the organisation’s project future will be decided Friday at T/A Mponela’s headquarters.