In this audio, Mbabala UPND member of parliament Ephraim Belemu complains that his constituency has not received Constituency Development Fund for the past three years.
And Belemu says dialogue must be an everyday thing in a civilized society.
Speaking on UNZA Radio’s Lusaka Star programme yesterday, Belemu said his people were highly disadvantaged due to lack of CDF for the past three years.
“We have been highly disadvantaged in terms of CDF. In the last year, there was no constituency that received so you deprive people of that kind of money. Previously again we had two years where we had not been receiving CDF so in that particular period it was basically a point of how the resources were to be allocated by the ruling party and they made a decision that they would not do this. Unfortunately, that was money that was meant for the development of people. So far, we are past half year, the budget was passed and it is effective from January to December, we have not received CDF. Unfortunately, even the constituencies that received, they received about K70,000 which I close to 50 per cent of CDF,” Belemu said.
“Again, that is a problem because we are now about to enter into another budget cycle which we shall be debating around August. Now if you do not get CDF for three years in a role, it means that you have deprived micro projects at community level…So if you don’t receive that kind of money, it is the people who are deprived.”
Take a listen:
And Belemu said it was strange that people wanted to set preconditions for dialogue.
“What is strange is that when dialogue is proposed, there are people who want to put preconditions, I always find that to be a bit strange because when you are going to dialogue, go with a blank sheet, an open sheet and begin from there, you dialogue, you talk and as a country we should always be talking and that has been our general position. I don’t want to comment on a very specific matter on whether HH will sit with this one or whether Lungu will seat with this one and that’s our general view, it has always been that of dialogue and our president himself, HH, has called for dialogue so many times in the past and this should be the way a civilized society functions,” he said.
Belemu also said it was sad that cadres were directing policies in the country.
“We have heard political overtones where political cadres are directing public policies, the participation of political cadres has been almost promoted to a level where what they say becomes public opinion, public policies and when one says to the contrary is seen as an enemy of society,” said Belemu.
“There is no offence when you raise an issue against government, what has been a danger is politicization of everything. For example, when a government minister is announcing that a particular market was guarded by police and PF cadres, there is no such a provision in our institution of governance that a PF cadre is supposed to guard a public institution or market.”