Chiefs in Karonga have resolved to enhance transparency in the administration of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) after being accused of corruption in the way they transact business under the programme.
In April, an evaluation of the programme in the district by the Future Planning for the Child as part of the Kalondolondo programme, established that chiefs mainly gave coupons to undeserving beneficiaries, mostly relations.
“The farm input subsidy programme is not for chiefs and their relations; it is for the people. The chiefs just assist in the administration of the programme, and have to be as transparent as possible in achieving that,” said Paramount Chief Kyungu in an interview.
“Without this transparency, the objective of the programme, namely to enhance food security, will not be achieved. This is why we agree that every chief should be very transparent in how they administer the Fisp.”
Last week, the chiefs and a number of other stakeholders in the implementation of the Fisp were engaged in sessions that provided the chiefs with an opportunity to respond to the findings of the assessment.
Some of the chiefs said the assessment should even involve senior authorities at the helm of the programme, stressing that some of the corruption seen to be perpetrated by the chiefs spills from the top.
Kalondolondo programme manager Jepther Mwanza said, among others, the chiefs could enhance transparency in the implementation of the programme by displaying names of those that are selected to benefit from the programme.
“But since that alone can’t solve issues, the chiefs could juxtapose the list they initially draw to benefit from the programme with the revised list that is sent back to them. The revised list is mostly stamped, hence more authentic,” said Mwanza.
“Our focus as Kalondolondo programme is on the point of service. We assess whether the service delivered to the people is done as per plans. We are not focusing on public expenditure tracking, and we would need to work with stakeholders that are good at such.”
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