Mulanje Bale legislator Victor Musowa (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP) has said the local media has been misleading the public in their reports on the t controversial K4 billion allocated to MPs to facilitate development.
Musowa said the media reports portray a picture that money was given to individual MPs, saying the truth is that the funds are chnelled through the district commissioners (DCs) who are in charge and not legislators.
Standing on a point of order, Musowa said: “This is very serious issues. We are having difficulties explaining to our constituencies on how the money was really distributed and who owns it.”
First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje said she would consult Parliamentray Secretariat on the issue as the National Assembly has no control over private owned media.
Despite public outrage in the manner the K4 billion was allocated, Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe proposed an increase of the fund to K6 billion in the 2018/19 National Budget.
In the new allocation, there is a shift in target as it is set to benefit 300 area development committees (ADCs) which will be responsible for implementation of projects instead of 86 constituencies.
Gondwe said the money will be channelled through the National Local Governance Committee and will be duly audited to avoid abuse.
Apart from the K6 billion channelled to ADCs, K20.7 billion has been proposed for rural development through District Development Fund (DDF), Local Development Fund (LDF) and Constituency Development Fund (CDF), and a further K7 billion that could be used on community projects has been included in the budget. This is more than 5 percent of the total Development Budget of the Central Government.