LOCAL Government Minister Dr Charles Banda has announced that government has released the entire K249.6 million Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for this year to all 156 constituencies.

Announcing the development during a press briefing in Lusaka, Wednesday, Dr Banda said the total amount of funds would translate as each constituency receiving K1.6 million.

“The CDF budgetary allocation for 2020 is K249,600,000.00 and I wish to announce that government, as promised, has released the total allocated CDF as budgeted. This amount is meant for distribution to all the 156 constituencies. Each of the 156 constituencies will receive a total of K1.6 million,” Dr Banda said.

“I wish to inform the nation through you that in 2018, K209,337,616.00 was released from the Treasury and the Ministry in-turn disbursed the funds to 132 constituencies because the allocation was not adequate to cater for all the 156 constituencies. The 24 constituencies not funded from the 2018 CDF were constituencies that had members of parliament, who were Cabinet Ministers. In 2019, given the country’s financial constraints, the Ministry of Finance released a total of K29,962,384.00, which was in-turn disbursed to the remaining constituencies that never received the CDF in 2018. The members of parliament now have an onerous task to ensure that the implementation of the earmarked projects commences as soon as the funds are in the accounts.”

And he urged all councils that had not yet submitted the 2020 CDF projects for approval to expeditiously do so.

“I also direct all the councils that have not yet submitted the 2020 CDF projects for approval to do so immediately. It is the cry of the large citizenry that development should be hastened in all areas without leaving anyone behind. There is no reason to retain the funds in the Constituency Bank Accounts when there are many development challenges that need to be urgently addressed,” urged Dr Banda, who is also Kapoche PF member of parliament.

“In conclusion, I wish to reiterate my Ministry’s commitment to ensure that the CDF allocated is used for the intended purpose in a transparent and accountable manner in accordance with the CDF Act No.11 of 2018, which prescribes the funding, management and accountability of the Fund.”