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Pac dares media on local governance reporting

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Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has challenged the Malawi media to report on local governance issues including funds mismanagement, poor governance, gender disparity and discrimination in a bid to enhance decentralisation.

Speaking during the official opening of a-two-day media workshop on proposed local governance act amendment in Mponela recently, Board Member and Treasurer General Gilford Matonga said his organisation expects the media to have balanced reporting.

Matonga said Pac anticipates illustrated articles on benefits of best practices in good governance such as gender responsiveness at community and district levels, accountability and transparency that can be emulated as good lessons to other councils.

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“Pac has another project on ‘Improved Local Governance and Community Action in Malawi’ supported by Trocaire and European Union from February 2016 – January 2018.

“The major activity in the project is to advocate the enactment and enforcement of the proposed Local Government Act (LGA) amendment bill.

“This also aims at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the local authorities and to align the Act with objectives of decentralisation.

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“Enactment and enforcement of the amended LGA will lead to improved and meaningful local governance that has gender dimension, sufficient mandate to support local development and appropriate limitations to prevent clientelism,” he said.

He said the enacted LGA will create a supporting environment for the meaningful political engagement of women and men. An enacted and enforced LGA is vital to the success of local governance in Malawi.

Matonga, therefore, outlined three sticky provisions which are very important but are stumbling block to the Members of Parliament (MPs) that Pac wants to see to it that they are passed.

The provisions include the consideration of gender representation, the voting powers of the MPs and the recruitment of the CEOs in the local councils.

“If PAC with all stakeholders and media inclusive aggressively advocate their importance, I am very sure and can be assured that they can be supported by our legislatures,” he said.

The media workshop was organised to clarify on the local government systems in Malawi that the proposed amendments in the bill are reviewed in line with decentralisation policy.

“Let us all work together by educating the masses to know their responsibilities as citizens and be able to demand for transparency and accountability if development in the areas is to be realised,” he said.

From 2012, P a c ha s been tirelessly advocating transformative leadership at national level.

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