THE Agriculture Consultant Forum has trained farmers in Monze in budget tracking tools and skills to help them participate in monitoring of the national budget for purposes of accountability and transparency.
Agriculture Consultant Forum (AFC) national project assistant James Ngulube told ZANIS in an interview yesterday that the purpose of the training was to enable people at the grassroots level to participate in governance issues such as monitoring expenditure of the national budget.
Ngulube said ACF had trained 15 farmers in Malundu and Moomba wards of Monze district in the initial stage and would continue with the programme.
He said his organisation was working with the Monze Land Alliance in implementing the budget tracking tools and skills training programme through already existing structures on the ground such as farmer groups.
Ngulube said the training was designed in such a way that those trained must pass on the knowledge to other members of the community in their respective areas by meeting every month to analyse and discuss issues affecting them, including funds meant for various developmental projects.
He said this would enable communities in rural areas to make duty bearers such as members of parliament and councillors responsible.
Meanwhile, Malundu ward focal person Miyanda Moono has commended ACF for organising the budget tracking training provided to equip them with tracking tools and skills.
She said in an interview with ZANIS shortly after the training workshop that the skills acquired would be helpful in determining people's benefits from the national budget in their areas.
Miyanda said the training had come at the right time when people needed to hold duty bearers responsible to ensure accountability and transparency.
And Moomba ward focal person Oliver Chizyuka also told ZANIS in an interview that the skills acquired would help them question developmental programmes if not delivered as reflected in the national budget.
He said it had been difficult for people in his area to speak on certain issues affecting them especially where public funds were concerned.
Chizyuka said it was their responsibility to ensure that public funds were utilised for the intended purposes for the people's benefit.