Constituents in most parts of Lilongwe are demanding to know how the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is administered saying they haven’t seen any impact on their socio-economic status since it was introduced and claim that legislators does not involve them casting doubts as to their motive.
The development has come clear during public debates that the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) has been conducting in most of the constituencies involving aspiring legislators, with some constituencies demanding an immediate suspension until District Councils civic educate the masses on how it should run.
Speaking at one such debates in T/A Malili in Lilongwe Yona Chikombole demanded from the aspiring candidates who were drawn from almost all the major parties to convince them how they will use the CDF if people decide to elect them as their legislators.
“I want ask you aspiring candidates to convince us here how you will administer the CDF for it to have the much anticipated impact on our lives. We are told that there is this fund but we haven’t any slight idea on how it works and let alone if at all it has been used in our constituency. If we are to elect you tell us how this will work?” said Chikombole amid ululation from his fellow constituency who had gathered for the debate.
During the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government Parliament approved the CDF to be given to each and every constituency amounting to K7million to spur development and to complement the Local Development Fund (LDF).
However, an aspiring independent legislator for Lilongwe South West Louis Chakwantha said the fund is embroiled in corruption with the legislators conniving with Councils staff that siphon the money and prevent it for reaching its intended beneficiaries.
“If you elect me I will make sure that I tell you how the CDF is supposed to be run. I will involve the Councils staff and engage them to tell you the guidelines as approved by Parliament in order to make sure transparency in the running of the fund,” said Chakwantha.
In a similar event in T/A Kalumbu in Lilongwe South East constituency people also demanded to know how CDF is run saying their former legislator was not forthcoming with information when asked on how the fund is administered.
NICE is conducting public debates where aspiring candidates are given a chance to sell themselves to the electorate and give the electorate to grill them on what they see as unrealistic promises.