By Blair Mhone

In a landmark move to promote transparency and accountability, Purple Innovation for Women and Girls plus journalists working under its Covid-19 funds tracking project engaged the Mzuzu City Council as part of creating a working collaboration.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways in which the council and the media can work together to better serve the community through transparency in management of funds.

The meeting, held in the council chambers, was attended by representatives from different council departments including acting Chief Executive Officer Yotamu Mtafya.

Speaking after the meeting, Mtafya who is also the Director of Parks and Environment emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability – the need for the council and the media to work together to ensure that the public has access to accurate and timely information about different projects.

Mzuzu City Council Publicist MacDonald Gondwe says investigations must also tackle other areas at the Council

“To us, we have welcomed this project. As a council on our own, we might not know what’s going on and we rely on stakeholders like journalists who might assist in exploring areas where we might not know of but are happening at the council,” said Mtafya.

On his part, Tchakazulu Mvula Program Manager for Purple Innovation for Women and Girls said the project which has engaged journalists from various media organizations, aims to ensure that any incidents of mismanagement of funds are brought to light.

“The city council has welcomed us and we are happy about that and we are hoping that our journalists when they seek information relating to Covid-19 funds will be assisted accordingly,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mtafya also called for Purple Innovation to consider extending the project to other areas as well, not only limiting to Covid-19 expenditure.
“We want every money we collect to be used in its proper use and we are requesting that they extend beyond Covid-19 funds,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Mzuzu City Council during the meeting also outlined that they are already initiatives in place to increase transparency and communication, and the acting CEO, Mtafya, thanked purple innovation for the engagement and input and promised to continue to engage with the media to ensure that the Mzuzu citizens remained well-informed about its social services delivery.

Purple Innovation for Women and Girls is implementing the project with funding from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and 20 journalists have been engaged.