Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has asked civil society organizations (CSOs) to work with it (TIZ) in addressing issues that are affecting communities.
TIZ Advocacy Officer Rosaria Lungu has disclosed that her organization has since engaged some CSOs in Ndola, Kapiri Mposhi, Mansa, Chongwe and Chipata districts to work together with it.
Ms. Lungu was speaking during a virtue training of Transparency Action Groups (TAGs) and CSOs.
“Our plan is to start working with all CSOs in communities to ensure that efforts are put together on common cases affecting communities. We understand that the government is getting frustrated receiving the same issue from different organizations. We need to network if we are to excel and help people in the communities,” she said.
Meanwhile, TIZ has introduced Advocacy and Legal Advice for Citizens (ALAC) to offer an independent channel for victims or witnesses of corruption and maladministration to report their concerns, proposed solutions and seek legal advice.
Ms. Lungu explained that legal desks will be opened in 10 districts across the country where TIZ has offices.
She added that the centres will also help people who have complaints and information on public service delivery.
“We aims at advocacy to provide free legal advice or practical help to citizens and to increase capacity of public institutions to work with people by receiving and dealing with complaints effectively. We want to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing anti-corruption interventions in the delivery of public services,” she said.
She said the ALAC will work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure that offenders are brought to book and the cases to a successful conclusion.
And Ndola district TAG Animator Mike Mshanga has stressed that the component which has been introduced is meant for the two institutions to work together for a common goal that will help bridge the gap between community members and the government in terms of information access and reporting issues affecting them.
Mr. Mshanga said the move to work together would help work systematically and help address issues efficiently.
He has since welcomed the initiative by TIZ and said that addressing community issues needed concerted efforts from all stakeholders.
Mr. Mshanga emphasized that the CSOs collaboration with government institutions will effectively bring the much needed public services closer to communities.