Council confident communities will control new constituency fund

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The Dowa District Council has assured people in the district that the newly established Community Socio-economic Project Fund under the K4 billion allocation to constituencies will be wholly controlled by the local communities.

Following the K4 billion allocation, government has established the fund which will see each constituency receiving MK20.7 million.

Speaking in an interview, Dowa Acting Director of Planning and Development (DPD) Martin Pindamkono said the Community fund seeks to compliment other existing funds such as District Development Fund, Local Development Fund and Constituency Development Fund by redirecting additional funds to the communities to solve immediate short term social and economic problems identified by the communities themselves.

Pindamkono said the fund has key guiding principles such as direct community control, direct community management, direct procurement and accountability to ensure that the project funding mechanism is wholly controlled by the local communities.

He said the fund will enhance the capacity of communities to plan, manage and sustain their own development which addresses their priorities and also ensure that communities are provided with funds that will be wholly centralised at the community level.

The DPD said the fund will be implemented by key stakeholders such as the village and area development committees, area executive committees, Councillors, MPs and central ministries through the Malawi Local Government Rural Development.

He called on the district executive council committee members to ensure that the local structures are working independently from the influences of politicians and also to monitor the projects being implemented.

In his remarks, Dowa Civil Society Organisations Network chairperson Maxwell Kadutsa feared that the local structures which are already being bulldozed by politicians will have again no say on how the projects will be run ranging from identification to procurement of materials.

Kadutsa said already in some constituencies, MPs have created their own parallel structures for advancing their political ambitions a development which is derailing projects.

Last year, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe released a Public Expenditure Tracking report which revealed that MPs steal money meant for projects.

 

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