A national conference to discuss the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is scheduled for March this year, Kalondolondo Programme manager Jephter Mwanza said on Tuesday in Mulanje.
Speaking in an interview after a district interface meeting at Hapuwani Village Lodge in Mulanje where the Women’s Legal Resources Centre (Wolrec) was presenting findings on how CDF money was used in the district, Mwanza said the conference will discuss various issues, including findings in various districts on how the fund is being used.
Said Mwanza: “From our findings in various districts, it is evident that most constituents do not know much about the fund, some feel the fund is politicised while others do not know the procurement procedures in buying material for the micro-projects.”
The Wolrec findings showed that 73 percent of CDF projects in Mulanje were completed, a thing Mwanza said was commendable.
Mulanje district commissioner Jack Nguluwe said transparency in managing the funds enabled them to achieve more compared to some districts which have scored as low as 20 percent success rate.
“Many people think the funds are in the custody of MPs. That is not the case since government provides district councils with the funds quarterly and MPs are only there to tell us what projects they want [in their areas]. We do the procurement and we make available to the development committees all documentation,” he said.
Every year, government allocates K7 million to each MP for microprojects under the fund.
Operating in 14 districts, the Kalondolondo Programme tracks how CDF, Local Development Fund (LDF) and Community Savings and Investment Promotion (Comsip) funds are used in health, education, water and sanitation, and agriculture for development.