Training awakens citizens to follow up public funds


Following training program on Public Expenditure Tracking System (PETS) held recently in Mbeya Region by our grantee, Jitambue Lembuka Tanzania more citizens have been awakened to make follow-ups on the utilization of public funds.

This went hand in and with actualization of the fact that failure to question on the expenditure of public funds in development projects does create a room for some unfaithful local government officials to misuse the funds - leading to poor implementation of development projects.

Jitambue Lembuka Tanzania Executive Director, Saimon Mkanya, associates mismanagement of the public funds allocated for development projects in various communities with corrupt practices among political leaders and government officials.

Mkanya believes that it has become easier for both political and local government officials to engaged in corruption since the alleged culprits know for sure that there is no one to make follow up on them. “It is therefore our responsibility to question our leaders,” he remarked during the training.

After having realized the unsound engagement between the public, political leaders and government on PETS issues, Jitambue Lembuka Tanzania (JTL), through funds from the Foundation for Civil Society, had organised a training program to strengthen effective citizens’ engagement in planning and tracking of public expenditures in agricultural sector, in Kyela district.

Mkanya says the first activity during the training was to educated participants on their rights to participate and monitor the expenditure of public funds. The training had directly benefited 60 participants from ten wards of Kyela – namely: Matema, Ipinda, Mwaya, Ipande, Ikimba, Itope, Ngana, Katumba Songwe and Kajunjumele.

After the PETS training, beneficiaries of the program were a good witness that fruits of the program does not just end at the level of the organisation, but also spill over into the entire community.

One of the beneficiaries of the training, Gwandumi Mwaipyana, who is a resident of Kajunjumele ward says now he has the knowledge and ready to monitor public expenditures that come into play in their locality, but has some reservations. 

“Here in our villages we know each other very well since we live quite close to one another. So there is always some kind of fear developing - that those being monitored can turn out to be enemies, but we will move on,” he says.

Isakwisa Mbwate hailing from Ipinda ward says the training has helped him to understand that he has the right to monitor all public funds in their localities and that it’s the responsibility of an elected leader and government officials to provide progress reports to the public.

A resident of Makwale ward, Joshua Mbwilo says despite the fact that they now have the knowledge on PETS, the main challenge remains at the side of district council officials who do not want the public to know how they spend the public funds. But given the knowlegde on PETS he is optimistic that their awareness will help to shape their leaders and make them fulfill their responsibilities.

But for Mbwilo and his colleagues see the the knowledge on PETS as a continual process such that they urged our grantee Jitambue Lembuka Tanzania to extend the knowledge as far as to the village leaders. “If we know our civic rights and they also know their responsibilities then we will definitely cooperate and work out plans for the development of our communities,” concludes Mbwilo.

Wasiliana Nasi


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