Former Rumphi East legislator Kamlepo Kalua says Constituency Development Fund (CDF) should remain under the “discrete control” of sitting MPs to seal gaps in their areas.
Kalua was speaking during a parliamentary aspirants’ debate organised by National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust at Luwuchi along the northern shoreline of Lake Malawi.
His stance came amid concerns by Malawians that decentralized development funds, including CDF, are prone to abuse by sitting members of Parliament due to favouritism, widespread corruption and lack of transparency and accountability.
Stated Kamlepo: “CDF was created to deal with developmental gaps left by Local Development Fund (LDF) and District Development Fund (DDF). So, in this case, the incumbent MPs are obliged to manage the fund and ensure that the whole constituency benefits.
“Those alleging that sitting MPs do this and that with the fund are speaking from the perspective of ignorance.”
He argued that it would be unfair not to involve MP’s loyalists in the implementation of CDF projects because MPs use personal resources to help communities procure project materials .
“You need to know that these people do not get actual cash, but local purchase order to get project materials from the council. An MP pays transport for these village and area development committee members. MPs are also answerable when things have gone wrong with the funds; as such he or she is required to put measures to ensure that things work well,” argued Kalua. But his contenders said they would follow CDF guidelines and involve local development structures to utilise the fund.