Thyolo Councilors Boycott CDF Guidelines Meeting

The revised Constituency Development Fund (CDF) guidelines continue facing resistance as on Thursday ward councilors in Thyolo boycotted a meeting organized by the National Local Government Finance Committee officials.

Thyolo district chairperson Cresco Likwezembe and Nchima ward councilor Hudson Ovila, have told Zodiak Online that they do not want to hear anything about the new guidelines, saying they are against decentralization precepts.

Among others, the approved guidelines provide for the recruitment of personal assistants for the parliamentarians which the councilors believe would take up their development roles as elected leaders.

"For the CDF guidelines, councilors did not accept this to be presented in the house. Councilors are not happy with the revised guidelines because it’s like the ideas have just been made only at the top at the parliament. They did not seek other information from the grassroot, you know decentralization has to start from the people themselves.

"So, it's like am in a position of making some laws, and I have made those laws that would work on me," Likwezembe said.

Ovila added "if you look at the CDF guidelines, you will see that a councilor is being sidelined in development though people elected councilors, parliamentarians and the president. So if the councilor is not taken on board, it clearly shows that decentralization precepts are being disregarded, therefore we thought we are useless to discuss them."

Meanwhile, Thyolo District Commissioner Douglas Moffat says, chiefs feel councilors’ decision was disrespectful and have organized a meeting with them next week on Wednesday to map the way forward.

"There were some disagreements between members of the council, councilors and non-voting members, in this case chiefs. So, the councilors stood to their ground that this agenda will be not discussed.

"But this did not go well with the chiefs, they said they did not know why the councilors were boycotting the discussion of the agenda, simply because the issue was not presented in the chamber.

“It was on the point of view of the chiefs that the issue should have been discussed so that they should understand what is not in line with the councilors are thinking. Therefore, the chiefs felt that they were not respected," he said.

This happened hours after Local Government officials were also sent packing in Mchinji over the same.

Currently, CDF is now at K100 million per constituency.

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