Area Development Committees (ADCs) in Dowa are demanding that government should devolve authority over Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and District Development Fund (DDF) to ADCs and traditional leaders so that citizens can experience meaningful transformation.
The committees lamented that elected officers – councilors and members of Parliament (MPs) – have failed to utilize the funds to facilitate the development the people at the grassroots have been yearning for.
They made the remarks at Mvera Community Hall in Dowa during a training for newly-elected ADC members, which Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) organized with financial support from the Danish Church Aid (DCA).
The training targeted Chiwere and Mkukula ADCs and was aimed at orienting the members on their roles and responsibilities in regards to the formulation of village action plans and how to mobilize resources for development projects.
Mkukula B ADC chairperson Wickson Bvumbwe expressed concern that ward councilors and MPs have tended to use CDF and DDF to advance their political ambitions instead of bringing the development projects that people have been yearning for.
“The evidence for this is the continued absence of our ward councilors and MPs during our ADC meetings. This is where development issues are supposed to be discussed and passed before the councilors and MPs take to the district council, but now it’s one year since they last attend such meetings,” said Bvumbwe.
He added that the absence of ward councilors and MPs at ADC meetings os depriving them the opportunity to benefit from CDF and DDF thereby denying them their right to development.
“During the campaign, they used to assure us that they would be giving periodic reports from full council meetings. But we have received none of those reports since they were ushered into power; and so, we turn to wonder how we are going to engage them on development matters,” emphasized Bvumbwe.
Dowa East legislator Richard Chimwendo Banda said he had no problem to give chiefs and ADCs to take control of development funds.
But Chimwendo Banda cautioned that this may take a long process as it will require amendments to the law.
“I personally have no problem with the proposal to have ADCs and chiefs taking over the management of the development funds. However, my worry is that the same chiefs in conjunction with the district council failed to deliver when they were given K20 million last year,” he said.
On missing ADC meetings, the legislator dismissed the assertion, saying it is the councilors that shun them.
“In fact, I chaired last month’s meeting where I also presented the reports. But I may not completely deny that there are some MPs who are absconding the meetings,” said Chimwendo Banda.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :