Government has increased Constituency Development Fund (CDF) from K40 million to K100 million for each of the 193 constituencies in Malawi.
Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe announced the increase in Parliament yesterday, attracting cheers from Members of Parliament.
He also announced that the 2022-23 budget will start introducing reforms to the administration of the Constituency Development Fund such that the CDF will be classified as development part II.
“CDF will be used as a direct and catalytic vehicle to advance meaningful development to the rural masses where every Member of Parliament will be required to show flagship projects for his or her area,” he said.
Gwengwe added that a team from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, National Local Government Finance Committee, and Ministry of Local Government is working on quality and standardization of projects such that structures to be built under CDF will have the same design in all constituencies.
“One should be able to identify a CDF classroom block or a CDF health center facility because they will look exactly the same across the country,” he said.
The Minister then said that new guidelines on the administration of the capital fund will be released soon and they will have to be followed strictly by the Members of Parliament as well as district councils and city assemblies.
In 2020, the Lazarus Chakwera administration increased the fund from K30 million to K40 million.
In the past, however, there have been reports of Members of Parliament abusing the funds. A report in 2017 showed that some legislators were sourcing quotations on their own, thereby taking the role of district council procurement committees.
Legislators, however, also complain that they use their own money for projects because CDF is misused by council officials.