Members of Parliament (MPs) in Lilongwe have only used 23 percent of the 2016/2017 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) budget three months before end of the financial year, Malawi News Agency (Mana) has learnt.
In the 2016/2017 financial year, the district’s 18 constituencies were allocated K324 million.
However, a report presented on Thursday by the Lilongwe District Council’s finance committee shows that the council has so far received nearly K148 million for CDF, which is 46 percent of the allocation.
The report shows that out of the K148 million, nearly K73 million (about 23 percent of the total budget) has been used by MPs for their constituencies.
MP for Lilongwe North East Maxwell Thyolera expressed worry with the under utilisation of the CDF in the district.
“This is sending a bad signal to central government, and also to the constituents. It is going to prejudice the decision by the Minister of Finance to our request to increase CDF allocation from K18 million to K25 million. We need to find the cause of the low rate of utilisation,” said Thyolera.
Lilongwe district commissioner Charles Makanga attributed the problem to delays in submission of projects requiring funding.
Makanga said there are some MPs who prefer the council to keep the money for them till the end of the year so that they can use it on bigger projects.
“This tends to affect the rate at which funds are utilised. Other MPs also delay in submitting projects for the year, which delays the utilisation of funds when money is available,” he said.