Mweetwa says good public finance management is cornerstone of development agenda – The Mast Online
SOUTH Province Minister Cornelius Mweetwa said sound management of public finances is the cornerstone of any country’s development agenda.
Launching the SANCUS project in Choma on Monday, aimed at promoting public participation in financial management, led by Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z), Mweetwa, who was represented by provincial assistant Daniel Mukosha, said the government committed to working with civil society and other stakeholders to promote integrity and accountability in the way public resources are used.
“Sound management of public finances is the cornerstone of any country’s development agenda as it determines the extent to which a nation is able to translate its development plans and resource endowments into a higher standard of living for its citizens” , did he declare.
Mweetwa said good public financial management remains important in the sense that transparency, accountability and integrity characterize the use of public resources at all levels of government.
“Greater public participation in development and budget processes is another indicator of a healthy and transparent space for the use of public resources. It is for this reason that the government has shown its commitment to fighting corruption by encouraging all government institutions to work with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to establish integrity committees in their respective institutions,” said Mweetwa.
And the president of the Choma Transparency Action Group (TAG), a subsidiary of TI-Z, Joe Mapiki, said the greatest evil would not be corruption but the silence and failure of citizens to hold authorities accountable.
Mapiki said CSOs have long worked in isolation and disunity, rendering their hard work to bring about positive change ineffective.
“Corruption remains one of the biggest concerns that deprives millions of our citizens of access to social and economic benefits,” Mapiki said. “It’s too widespread to ignore, littered with every report the Auditor General reads.”
Representing CSOs from Choma district, partner Siabutuba said there was a need to improve platforms that encourage citizen participation.
“The new dawn government’s decision to promote decentralization calls on CSOs to stand with the people and ensure prudent use of resources. This means that we must put citizens at the center of our activities,” he said.
Siabutuba hoped that the SANCUS project would strengthen CSO participation in public financial management.
“Often when CSOs speak, they are aligned with political parties. We have been accused of supporting political parties while speaking on behalf of the people. As a CSO in Choma, we will ensure that the project realizes and strengthens public participation in the management of finances,” said Siabutuba. “Choma is already a victim because his 2012 CDF (Constituency Development Fund) was defrauded by an individual claiming to be a grader supplier. This time, as CSOs, we will unite to help the government protect public resources. »
And SANCUS project coordinator Tommy Singongi said the project aims to strengthen public participation and consultation as well as oversight in the policy and budget circle.
“This project aims to promote transparency, accountability and integrity in public finance management,” Singongi said.