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Low update on CDF blamed on continued use of Guidelines which pose challenges by Local Government

The Civil Society Organizations Decentralization Alliance Network (CSO-DAN) has said that revelations by the ministry of finance that there is low absorption of Constituency Development Funds is not surprising due to the continued use of CDF guidelines which are posing a challenge to applicants.

CSO-DAN National Coordinator George Chimembe said that his organization is aware of the measures that the Ministry of Local Government has put in place such as the 10 day turnaround policy to process all documents needed for the application, a system he said is failing.

Mr Chimembe added despite this and many other measures put in place to enhance efficiency in the processing of CDF applications, the system will continue dragging if the guidelines are not revised.

He has since commended the Ministry of Finance for doing its part of disbursing the funds on time despite the existing bottlenecks at the ministry of local government that is slowing the process.

Yesterday during a presentation on the mid-year performance review, the government expressed concern about the low absorption rate of the CDF.

During the week Government expressed concern with the low absorption rate of the Constituency Development Fund-CDF-.

Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary- Development Corporation, Monitoring and Evaluation, Danies Chisenda said that from the K2, 205,369,577.16 disbursed so far, only K84.05 million has been spent as at 30th June 2022 representing 4.2 percent absorption.

Making a PowerPoint presentation on the mid-year performance review, at a symposium on the mid-year budget and economic performance and the 2023 to 2025 medium-term budget plan, Mr. Chisenda said that government was working with all relevant institutions to resolve bottlenecks that are hampering the utilization of CDF.

Mr. Chisenga was however confident that these bottlenecks which include lack of information on CDF processes and application forms, perceived cumbersome registration and procurement processes will be resolved soon.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chisenda says the treasury has disbursed 50 percent of the annual budget allocation amounting to K2.01 billion in the first half of the year.

And following the release of K 3 million of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Kalulushi Town Council has directed schools in the area to immediately submit CDF projects.

Kalulushi acting Town clerk Samuel Musenga said this is because most of the approved CDF projects are inclined to the government’s free education policy.

Speaking during the Kalulushi CDF implementation meeting attended by the Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Augustine Kasongo yesterday, Mr Musenga called for improved infrastructure at Lubuto primary school and Kalulushi Basic schools, respectively to accommodate the increased number of learners.

The education standards officer has already been contacted for specifications for the desks and dining benches which will be bought for the schools.

And the Permanent Secretary urged the council to ensure that CDF funds are used quickly to translate into meaningful benefits to the communities.

He added that President Hakainde Hichilema wants CDF projects to add value to the communities, especially at the grassroots.