Communities in Karonga has bemoaned the continued delays by the Karonga District Council to complete projects which have stalled in the district.
The District Development Fund (DDF) and the Local Development Fund (LDF) projects include a Police Unit at Wililo and Poosi market in Ngelenge whose construction works began in 2017 and 2015 respectively.
Speaking at an interface meeting that Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) organized for communities and council officials Chairperson for Mbande Area Development Committee (ADC) Fwasani Sulungwe, demanded information from the council on why the projects have stalled despite funds being already allocated to some of the projects.
“We expected some of the developmental projects to have been completed because we were told a while back that finances were available to complete the projects so why the delays?” he wondered.
He added that, as far as decentralization is concerned, the power is with the people hence the need for the council to value ADC members when it comes to implementing activities for the district.
Karonga District Director of Finance Andrew Mhango, said they were aware that some projects had stalled.
“We are aware that some projects stalled but they did not stall because resources were embezzled as it is the misconception out there in the communities but the truth of the matter is that we did not receive enough resources from the central government hence the delays to complete the projects,” he explained.
However, Mhango, was quick to admit the need to improve the communication between the district council and members of the community saying the gap that exists has led to communities being suspicious over the utilization of resources at the council.
CCJP Project Coordinator Vincent Bwinga, said such forums empower communities with skills to take duty bearers to task on developmental projects hence they organized the engagement meeting.
He noted, that the only way to end the politicization of projects is to empower the citizens to be aware of their roles and obligation in developmental activities hence the interface meeting.
With financial assistance from Irish Aid through Danish Church Aid, CCJP has implemented The Citizen Action, Attitude for Local Government Accountability (CAALGA) project in Karonga and Chitipa.