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Monday, 21 March 2011

A Broken Campaign Tool, 2nd Edition

New signals that the Government plans to increase the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to K1 billion :
A senior Government official has proposed that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) be increased from the current K720 million to K1 billion if its impact was to be felt by all constituents in the country. Presidential Affairs Minister Ronald Mukuma who is also Kabompo East Member of Parliament said the increment would help Government fund many developmental projects in various constituencies using the CDF.....The Minister said Government must consider increasing the CDF because of the fund’s contribution in supplementing Government efforts to take development to all parts of the country. Mr Mukuma expressed happiness that the money was being put to good use and for its intended purpose in his area.
In 2008, the then MMD Presidential Candidate Rupiah Banda promised that once elected he would increase it to K1bn.

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

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