Zodiak Broadcasting Station’s Online  Mogul, Winston Mwale, scooped the first prize of this year’s Southern African Media Award in Social Accountability Reporting award during an event that took place at the annual Highway Africa conference at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa on 29 November, 2018.

This news report investigated by Winston started when community members of Mkanda, Mchinji district, Malawi reported suspicious activity to the government officials and requested assistance.

‘’The whole story started after the community members suspected the foreman of a construction company that was hired to build a maternity ward at a local clinic of embezzling the resources to build his own house,” Winston said.

They were mainly concerned for the integrity of the structure of the buildings that were supposed to be constructed. The reported interviewed a number of individuals who reported seeing the foremen moving material and human resources from the clinic to his site.

The foreman and the company denied the accusations, however, stating that there was no misuse of resources and ensuring the community that the structure at the maternity ward was not going to be compromised.

In the report, Winston also interviewed an ActionAid representative who works with the community to empower them to monitor the use of public resources.

Winston said, “He stated that it was a progressive step, because the community was able to monitor the problem and followed the necessary steps to ensure accountability.”

Winston said he dedicated his award to his grandparents who instilled the value of education into him as he grew up in Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Derrick Chityamba from Zambia came second, while Josephene Chinele from Malawi came third.

The award, in its second year, is hosted at the annual Highway Africa conference in partnership with the Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) alliance.

The award recognizes that communication and information flows are necessary factors to strengthening social accountability practice.

The aim of the award is to promote high-quality investigative reporting on issues of social accountability, specifically on HIV / Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and food security in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.

The 1st Southern Africa Media Award in Social Accountability was presented in 2017 during a gala awards dinner held at the 21st annual Highway Africa conference, the world’s largest gathering of African journalists, at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.

The PSA alliance is planning on presenting their second award at the 2018 Highway Africa conference gala dinner to be held at Rhodes University, South Africa.

Source : Zodiak Online

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