Tuesday, April 03, 2012
By Christopher Miti in Chipata and Fredrick Mwansa in Itezhi-te
Tue 03 Apr. 2012, 12:57 CAT
CARITAS Chipata director Fr Vincent Daka says some of the adverse effects on the utilisation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) arise from political interference.
During the presentation of the Caritas-Zambia CDF study report findings in Chipata on Saturday, Fr Daka stated that the report also cited poor management of the fund, imposition of projects and low community participation as some of the adverse effects on the utilisation of the fund.
He said the report highlighted some of the causes that have impeded the objectives of the fund from being realised.
"The (CDF) seeks to improve locally-based development with the aim of reducing poverty. Where guidelines have been kept and proper follow-ups have been conducted, the realised projects have not only been a pride but a real change of life for our people. Figures of CDF have been rising over years but the actual government vision on this programme is far from sight," he said.
Fr Daka said Caritas would like to see elected leaders more as patrons rather than active implementers of CDF.
Caritas Chipata governance unit programmes officer John Mthaziko Zulu, who gave an overview of the report revealed that wrong people were sometimes appointed to run CDF.
Zulu said members of parliament and councillors have partisan interests and have more influencing authority on the CDF utilisation, especially in projects' selection and sitting.
He said the allocation of CDF projects tends to be biased towards wards where the elected constituent representatives were more popular.
Zulu said some amounts purported to have been spent on projects were rarely equivalent to the quality of work.
According to the report, 44 CDF corruption-related cases were reported to the ACC from various constituencies in the period 2006 to 2010.
Eastern Province permanent secretary Hlobotha Nkunika said the government of Zambia was an open one which allowed the participation of stakeholders in the governance of the country to enhance transparency and accountability in the management of the resources.
He said he was happy to see civil society organisations like Caritas taking such a move which would assist the government to clearly know what was happening on the ground insofar as the CDF was concerned.
Nkunika was, however, concerned with the non-representation of Chipata Municipal Council at the meeting.