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Thursday, 13 January 2011

A Broken Campaign Tool

President Banda in 2008 :
Acting President Rupiah Banda has promised to increase the Constituency Development Fund (CDF, from the current K400 million to K1 billion once elected as President of Zambia. The Acting President said this when he arrived at Chibefwe Basic School grounds in Mkushi district Saturday afternoon. The Acting President was in the district to drum up support for his presidential campaign election scheduled for 30 October 2008.
Minister Chituwo in 2011:
Government has increased the Constituency Development Fund -CDF from 665 million to 720 million kwacha for the year 2011. Local Government and Housing Minister Brian Chituwo says this is because the fund has been appreciated by people at constituency level.
The idea behind the CDF is to empower local communities by providing a pot of funding for health, education and other initiatives. Although some great projects have actually been accomplished through it,  in practice, it is more of a political tool at election time. In 2008  the CDF budget was released on the 7th October 2008, in good time for the 30th October elections! In the last campaign it was again used with a promise of rising to K1bn. 

An excellent paper by the International Budget Office explains what is wrong with CDFs. Seeing that I am anti-CDFs,  I suppose I should thank President Banda for breaking his campaign promise of K1bn. Its a weird world! 

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