BY BLAIR MHONE
Duty bearers in Rumphi District have been challenged to end budgetary funding gaps which are fueling inequalities in access to education, health and social protection programmes.
Youth and Society (YAS) Executive Director Charles Kajoloweka made the call during refresher training for sector heads, councillors and civil society organization leaders in the district.
In his remarks, Kajoloweka said limited engagement of key players from national and community level like CSOs and traditional authorities in budget consultations is adding to the ever growing inequalities across the country.
“The inequalities are growing every day which suggests that those that have continue to have more while those who do not have continue to get worse.
“Our response to fighting inequalities should be increasing in education, health and social protection programs to improve the welfare of the marginalized,” said Kajoloweka.
He then decried the tendency of members of parliament missing important council meetings in the district.
“We want to walk together with the duty bearers in resource allocation during budget consultations.
“And we are concerned with the members of parliament continuing to shun important meetings at district level because they are a crucial stakeholder in budgetary consultations,” he added.
Representative of the councillors, Harry Munyenyembe who is also councillor for Chinyolo-Mphompha ward, said the meeting will assist them to see the inequalities that are there in education, health and social protection programs.
He said, “For example here in Rumphi we have seen the poor are not fully benefiting from education, the best schools are benefiting the rich who also end up having easy access to tertiary education than the poor.”
The training which was dubbed Enhancing Duty Bearers Capacity for Citizen budgeting to fight inequalities was conducted under Youth and Society’s Amplify Change project being implemented in Rumphi district with support from the Danish Church Aid and the Norwegian Church Aid to a tune of about 61 million kwacha.