Govt failure to honour CDF disbursements in time exposed

About 11 councils in the country are facing massive under-performances in their governance and development projects largely because government is failing to disburse constituency development funds (CDF) in time, Nyasa Times has learnt.

Muhlabase Mughogho: Treasury disburses the funds

Except at Mzuzu City Council (MCC) where constituency development funds amounting to K91 million were abused, many councils in the country struggle to have their allocations in time–a development experts have described as worrisome.

District and city council chairpersons across the country said, during a capacity building and transparency in local government workshop, held in the capital Lilongwe, facilitated by Active Learning Centre (ALC) in conjunction with Women Legal Resource Centre (WORLEC) and supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, that the delay in the disbursement of  funds is contributing negatively towards development projects in their councils.

Andrew Piliminta of Nsanje District Council, for example, said development projects have been stifled as a result of the “irritating” delays.

“There can’t be implementation of projects without funds. There is need for improvement on the part of Capital Hill on the matter,” said Piliminta.

On her part, ALC project manager, Susan Dalty, said delay in the disbursement of finances “denies rights of people to access development projects.”

It was revealed, during the workshop, that eleven districts in tbe country where ALC is implementing the watchdog project the timely trickle-in of funds from Lilongwe is a serious challenge.

In the ongoing fiscal year, for instance,  Ntcheu District Assembly has received only K8 million of the expected K110 million while  Chiradzulu has gotten only K10 million of the K78 million it is expected to receive.

Rumphi, Nyasa Times also learnt, has only gotten K18 million of the allocated K79 million.

But in an interview with Nyasa Times, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development spokesperson, Muhlabase Mughogho, said her Ministry is not responsible for the delays in funding the councils and assemblies.

“The funding is done straight from the Ministry of Finance (MoF),” said Mughogho.

However, Treasury spokesman, Davis Sado, also said his Ministry was not to blame.

“Funding for the constituencies is channeled through the national local government finance committee. As treasury we simply fund according to their cash flows which they submit to the Ministry,” said Sado.

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