A Constituency Development Fund (CDF) tracking report in Rumphi has shown that about 50 percent of the funds in the 2016/17 fiscal year was allegedly spent on unnamed projects or on expenditures whose materials cannot be traced.
The report, Turning CDF Implementation Challenges Into Positive Implementation Changes—Change Is Not Made Without Inconvenience, has been produced by the Rumphi Civil Society Network (Rucsn), in collaboration with ActionAid Malawi and Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet).
Research for the report, which is part of a three-year European Union (EU) governance project, was carried out in Rumphi West, Central and East constituencies.
According to the report, the issues involve 58 percent of K10 030 700 in Rumphi West Constituency; 42 percent of K11 148 004.92 in Rumphi Central Constituency and 88.5 percent of K10 764 330 in Rumphi East Constituency.
It reads in part: “According to the findings in Rumphi West Constituency, K5 804 750 remain unaccounted for. This constitutes about 58 percent of total CDF funds in the said fiscal year. Out of these funds, K3 158 150 had no name or names of projects that benefited from these funds.
“The nature of ‘’expenditure’’ simply says materials, while K2 646 600 was used on unidentified projects, according to information from the council. This constitutes about 58 represent of total funds (K10 030 700) that Rumphi West Constituency allocated to different CDF projects in the 2016/2017 fiscal year.”
It adds that there are a couple of projects where the nature of expenditure was not mentioned in the financial report from the district council.
As for Rumphi Central, the report indicates that K4.7 million remains unaccounted for, while K2.7 million was used for materials whose projects were not mentioned while a total of K2 million went to five projects that were not mentioned in the report.
The figures thus constitute about 42 percent of total funds (K11 148 004.92) that the constituency allocated to different CDF projects in the 2016/2017 fiscal year.
Rumphi East Constituency is deemed the worst in the report, with 88.5 percent (K9 527 930) unaccounted for.
Rucsn chairperson in Rumphi, Flument Mkinga said expenditures whose materials were not known and spending on unnamed projects create a loophole for loss of funds.
But Rumphi East parliamentarian Kamlepo Kalua rubbished the report, claiming it is only a political ploy to stop him from fighting against corruption in the country.
Said Kalua: I don’t want to touch CDF, so I came up with a committee. If there is misappropriation of funds, then this committee and council officials are to blame,” Kamlepo said.
In an interview, Action Aid Malawi executive director Grace Malera expressed gratitude at the work of CSOs that they are working with in Rumphi, saying ‘we are seriously following up on issues of accountability”.