Members of Parliament (MPs) want Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to be raised to K100 million despite a report by Parliamentary Ad hoc Committee revealing that the funds are being abused.
Member of Parliament for Mulanje Bale Constituency Victor Musowa said in Parliament today that it is sad that most MPs are developing their constituencies using their own money when the CDF meant for that task is being misused by council officials.
The legislator recommended that CDF money should be raised from the current K40 million to at least K100 million annually so as to develop the country claiming if there shall be no change of the amount, most constituencies will remain undeveloped.
According to the legislator, eyes of electorates and others are on the CDF to develop the constituencies and it is only necessary to increase it.
Musowa was speaking after the Parliamentary Ad hoc Committee presented its findings on the management of water fund and the constituency development fund in district councils.
According to the chairperson of the committee Ralph Jooma, it has been established that most members of parliament are being sidelined in all the processes involving the use of constituency development fund.
Jooma indicated that it is the role of Members of Parliament to oversee all the CDF projects, as regards to who needs to be involved in project identification, supplier or contractor identification, monitoring of projects but this is not happening.
The chairperson together with other Members of Parliament then blamed some council officials for seeing parliamentarians with an eagle eye when it comes to handling projects using CDF money.
He added that these council officials deliberately prevent legislators from handling the said funds just to frustrate them and for the MPs to completely give up following the funds so that the funds should be used for the council officials’ personal benefits.
He then suggested that there should be recruitment of CDF desk officers in all councils who will be handling all CDF matters just to make sure that council officials do not completely sit on the overseeing chair for betterment of development in constituencies.
“We can now all of us with sufficient evidence contend that the CDF is at a great risk and we have to rescue it. There should be involvement of MPs in all the critical stages of the use of the CDF.
“The honeymoon for these council officials is over, this fund is ours and we have to take control of it. You may also see that these culprits are the ones accusing the innocent where in real sense MPs neither touch the money nor they touch building materials,” said Jooma.