MALGA Stands Firm Against CDF Officers Recruitment
Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) has reiterated its stand against Parliamentary Adhoc Committee's report which recommended Parliament to recruit Constituency Development Fund (CDF) desk officers in district councils to be handling the Funds.
The report which was released in March last year reviewed the administration of the annual K40 million allocation to each of the 193 constituencies and noted several shortfalls in the management of CDF by the district councils.
For instance, in Chikwawa, the report indicated that CDF resources amounting to over K30 million were diverted for settlement of hospital bills and installation of chiefs while in Nkhata Bay, 33 million kwacha was spent on the installation of chiefs and allowances for ministerial visits contrary to CDF guidelines.
However, Speaking to Zodiak, MALGA Executive Director Hadrod Mkandawire insists that it is hypocritical for the report, to squarely blame councils for poor administration of CDF when previous audit reports revealed that some Parliamentarians were involved in the abuse of CDF.
"The stand remains the same. As we indicated in our statement, that CDF is one of the Local Development Fund that's why is channeled to local government, it’s not central government funds.
"Therefore, all the funds going to the council must adhere to the principles of decentralization. So, you cannot be at the centre of controlling human resource when actually we are looking at full devolution of human resource," Mkandawire said.
Meanwhile, Parliament could not comment on the matter, but social accountability activist Willy Kambwandira, has backed MALGA, saying government should ensure CDF guidelines are followed than recruiting officers who will drain the resources.
"There are laid down procedures, CDF guidelines that should be followed. I think if you look at the guidelines are very clear. So recruiting special desk officers will just be duplication of responsibility and again wastage of resources.
"We don't agree with a position of Adhoc Committee for councils to recruit special CDF officers," Kambwandira said.
CDF was introduced in 2006 to facilitate development in constituencies, but it has been prone to abuse with several audits highlighting weak accountability and management tools.