Charles Kakoma MP (Zambezi West, UPND) recently said the Government must increase the Constituency Development Fund to K5 billion, or the opposition will not support the 2013 budget. In his words :
"This is a 'don't kubeba budget' because they are not telling the Zambian people the truth about what they are going to do in this country. It is meant to be a campaign budget to cool down the youths who have no jobs. The CDF must be increased to K5 billion; without that we are not going to support this budget"
This is poor thinking. Mr Kakoma should know that not too long ago it was revealed that the Government by its own admission has not measured the impact of the CDF on the socio-economic development of constituencies from inception to date. Two major studies which were conducted by Caritas Zambia and the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) on the impact of the CDF which are in public domain have shown rampart corruption and misallocation of funds. So how can Mr Kakoma ask for such a fund to be increased five-fold? So that MPs can eat more?
The CDF should be abolished and in its place a better fiscal framework should be put in place. Let councils have proper fiscal decentralisation. Let them spend the money they raise through local taxes. And please, let us ensure MPs stay out of money issues. It corrupts their proper functions : which is creating laws; representation; and, advocacy. Only in Zambia do Members of Parliament worry about local budgets! Such should be the job of a properly functioning council! Not MPs!