Govt. releases KR 150 million for 2013 CDF
Lusaka, March 1st, —Government will release KR150 million (K150 billion) the 2013 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in June, this year.
Local Government and Housing Minister Emerine Kabanshi disclosed in parliament today that her ministry would release the funds to the councils country-wide in two phases.
Ms. Kabanshi, who is also Patriotic Front Luapula Member of Parliament (MP), said the last phase of the funds would be disbursed to the remaining local authorities in July, 2013.
She said that to guard against mi- use of the funds, government has put in place an effective monitoring mechanism on all capital projects being undertaken in the respective 150 constituencies in the country.
She counseled the parliamentarians that the 2013 CDF would be disbursed in June and promised that the Ministry of Finance would allocate the last phase in July without undue hiccups.
On decentralisation, the minister said government is committed to devolve the resources to the local organs so that it benefits the people at the grassroots.
Earlier, her deputy John Kufuna said government has got no plans of transferring the administration of the Constituency Development Fund from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to National Assembly Constituency Offices.
Mr. Kufuna said the CDF were intended to benefit the stakeholders in rural areas in helping to come up with good structures as well as engage the people to embark on viable projects to enhance the economic welfare and fight poverty.
He was responding to a question raised by MMD Zambezi East MP, Ms Sarah Sayifwanda who wanted to know whether the Government has any plans to transfer the administration of the CDF from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to National Assembly Constituency Offices.
And Mr. Kufuna has said government will soon conduct an inventory of all play parks for children in the country.
Mr. Kufuna said government has got no policy of converting play parks into residential plots but regretted that there were illegal squatters that had invaded on some parks.
He warned that his ministry working with Councils has evicted the squatters and is plotting to evict those still occupying the parks in question.
The deputy minister disclosed that some parks in the country have been leased to the private sector.
Mr. Kufuna, who is also PF Mufulira MP, was answering a question from MMD Muchinga MP Howard Kunda who wanted to find out why local councils countrywide have converted play parks into residential plots and whether the local authorities will be compelled to create new play parks for children.