Chiengi FDD member of parliament Given Katuta says it is unfair to make all constituencies suffer over problems created by the PF.
Last week, Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale said funds meant for CDF had been diverted to fight Cholera because it was an emergency.
“Ministry of Finance could not release CDF because they had pressing issues to deal with such as cholera and perhaps e-voucher. Before the end of the year, Ministry of Finance was going to fund us for CDF. We got some money in May and we got a bit more in November and we managed to fund all constituencies at least half and begun to top-up on funding to constituencies. So we expected that we were going to get a bit more money before the end of the year and pay all constituencies the full amount. Now we were all queuing up to the Treasury, we all looking for funds from the Treasury and the Treasury saw Cholera as an emergency and e-voucher obviously as an emergency and therefore could not give some ministries what they needed, for example ourselves for CDF. So when we say divert, it isn’t like we got the money and then we used it on Cholera, no! But we never received the money because the treasury had to deal with Cholera,” said Mwale.
But Katuta said it was unjustifiable to divert CDF to fight cholera when it had not even affected all constituencies.
“No, that’s not justifiable actually. And why should they divert CDF to fight cholera? Has cholera affected all constituencies?” Katuta asked.
“No! It is just another way of them taking the money as usual. It is very wrong. And when we get back to Parliament we are going to demand for our money back for our constituencies. Some of us in our constituencies we have not seen any development from this government. All that we receive are threats and intimidation when we try to remind them what their mandate is. Why on earth should somebody do such a thing at the expense of other constituencies?”
She lamented that government did not release CDF in full last year.
“It is like the same thing with fire tenders. They went to buy the fire tenders which will not help the people in Chiengi, the people in Shang’ombo. It is very wrong of them. Let them just get the CDF money which is meant for Lusaka and use it in the operations. Last year we were not given full amounts of CDF and this year you cannot say ‘we have diverted’ its not right,” Katuta said.
Katuta said MPs were not part of the problem which had been created by PF.
“The MPs want their CDF back. We are not part and parcel of this problem which has been created especially here in Lusaka. The whole water in Lusaka is contaminated. That’s their problem. They should sort out that problem than inconveniencing other constituencies. In fact, Lusaka benefits more, Kanyama benefits more than Chiengi. Chiengi has never received any help from government. We only see them when there is cholera but when we tell them to give us water, it is difficult for them,” said Katuta.