THE Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has announced its intent to implement administrative measures against constituencies that exhibited low utilisation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in 2023.
Last year, a total of K4,7 billion inclusive of a supplementary budget of K298 million. for the CDF, was disbursed to all 156 constituencies, each receiving K28,313,902.01.
Despite the widespread allocation, recent reports on expenditure returns from January to October 2023 revealed disparities in the burn rates among constituencies.
Notably, Chembe town council under Chembe constituency demonstrated a high burn rate of 98 percent, while Chipili town council under Chipili constituency lagged behind with a mere 17 percent.
In response to these findings, Maambo Haamaundu, the Permanent Secretary in Administration for Local Government and Rural Development, emphasized the ministry’s commitment to investigating the factors contributing to low CDF utilisation in certain constituencies.
“The administrative actions against low CDF utilization are aimed at ensuring that funds are channeled to all developmental activities planned by communities within a given time-frame.”
Contrary to speculations, Haamaundu clarified that the Ministry will not withdraw any CDF funds held in banks from the 2023 financial year. Instead, efforts will focus on enhancing the efficient and effective use of funds for planned developmental activities.
Haamaundu underscored the significance of CDF as one of the flagship programs of the New Dawn Government.
The fund, which saw a substantial increase from K1.6 million per constituency in 2021 to K28.3 million in 2023, has been further raised to K30.6 million per constituency in the current year’s National Budget.
By Buumba Mwitumwa
Kalemba, January 4, 2023