Constituency Development Funds, 4th Edition

From Zambian Economist Thu Dec 6 2012, 15:24:00

Miles Sampa recently revealed via Facebook that the CDF budget has increased, "after strong submissions from all MPs in general; my Minister has Heard and adjusted the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in the 2013 Budget from K1BN to K1.3BN per Constituency". This represents an increase of K0.5bn because previously it was around K0.8bn. The new 2013 budget raised to K1bn and now they have raised it again as the budget is debated.

All of this is baffling of course. As we have noted previously. Not too long ago it was revealed that the Government by its own admission has not measured the impact of the CDF on the socio-economic development of constituencies from inception to date. Two major studies which were conducted by Caritas Zambia and the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) on the impact of the CDF which are in public domain have shown rampart corruption and misallocation of funds. So how can GRZ keep increasing this fund?

The better approach there is to abolish it! In its place a better fiscal framework should be put in place. Let councils have proper fiscal decentralisation. Let them spend the money they raise through local taxes. And please, let us ensure MPs stay out of money issues. It corrupts their proper functions : which is creating laws; representation; and, advocacy. Only in Zambia do Members of Parliament worry about local budgets! Such should be the job of a properly functioning council! Not MPs!

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