Continued wrangles over management of CDF worries MHRRC

Written by  Bishop Witmos

Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) has expressed concern over continued misunderstandings between Members of Parliament (MPs) and Ward Councillors in some areas across the country over the management of Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Speaking Wednesday in Chitipa during the training of Area Development Committee (ADC) members for Ulambya-Kaseghe and Ulambya-Songwe on their roles in the management of CDF, Director for MHRRC, Emma Kaliya said the development is affecting projects due to lack of coordination between the two duty bearers.

Ward Councilors’ roles are not registered on the ground- Kaliya

Kaliya, therefore, urged local governance structures at all levels to be vigilant in following up CDF funded projects that are taking place in their areas to ensure funds are used prudently.

“Since we brought in councillors in government system, MPs seem to have taken over the roles of councilors and as a result, there are always conflicts between the two parties.

“As such, it is our expectation that if the ADCs and Village Development Committees (VDCs) play a watchdog role by following up on projects that are taking shape in their areas, things can improve,” said Kaliya.

In his remarks, Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for Chitipa District Council, McMillan Magomero commended MHRRC for the training, describing it as a timely initiative as the council did not have resources for such trainings. 

He, therefore, advised members of the ADCs to be apolitical when performing their duties.

Magomero added that ADCs are not political grounds but are local government structures that were formed for smooth implementation of local developments.

During the last budget sitting of Parliament, government increased allocation for CDF from K30 million to K40 million per Constituency.

MHRRC is building capacity for all ADCs in Chitipa, especially on budget tracking as well as on gender mainstreaming with funding from Local Government Accountability and Performance (LGAP).