The reasons given for disbursing loans to youth in the Youth Enterprise Funds[ Yedef ] without the usual publication of list of beneficiaries in the media raises more questions than answers.
The K1.6 billion disbursed originates from the public purse. The taxpayers who dig deeper into their pockets to fund noble ventures like this one deserve better treatment. They must know how their hard-earned cash is being spent and for what purpose.
We are told K4 million would be spent to publicise the names of beneficiaries in the media. The question is could this be a worthless expenditure given that this is the most efficient way of letting the public scrutinise a crucial expenditure?
We believe any means whether costly or not serves the public better than the secrecy that has surrounded this particular expenditure. Our leaders need to be reminded that when they are taking public office they swear to uphold the rule of law. The rule of law advocates adherence to tenets of accountability and transparency at all times and at whatever the cost.
The method used and reckoned cheap, namely, pasting names at the District Commissioners' and traditional authorities' offices is not only archaic but also prone to abuse. It is almost impossible for an interested citizen to scrutinise the criteria used in awarding of the loans. Our leaders have not mastered the art of accountability and most of the times they have not hesitated to abuse public funds. We urge the officials who made this decision of disbursing the funds secretly to come in the open and do the right thing. We are saying publicise the names for all to see.
Accountability and transparency are pivotal tenets of democracy and as widely acknowledged democracy is not cheap.
We see merit on all such initiatives which strive to empower our people. Malawi Rural Development Fund[Mardef] and Youth Enterprise Fund are worthy causes to reduce poverty and create the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country. However, we have serious problems with controversies that surround the choice of beneficiaries, usually favouring cadres of a ruling party and this secrecy on transactions. We urge the authorities to initiate change and inspire us for the sake of our beautiful country.