Chirundu, Thursday (December 7, 2023)

Government has warned beneficiaries of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) that Government will not tolerate misappropriation of Grants.

Chirundu Council Chairperson Nevers Muchindu said President Hakainde Hichilema has deliberately expanded CDF scope to uplift the lives of citizens stating that such resources should not be abused.

Mr. Muchindu has further Challenged stakeholders to work hard in bridging the information gap as some people are not conversant with the process of accessing CDF.

The Council Chairperson was speaking in Chirundu District, Southern Province, at a workshop organised by Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) which is implementing a Disability Inclusion in Climate Action (DiCA) project funded by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) under the Voices for Climate Action (VCA).

Speaking earlier, Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) Head of Programmes Haggai Nyambe said his organisation is ready to help the marginalised to draft proposals for them to benefit from CDF.

Mr. Nyambe said CEJ was advocating for the Local Authority to give a minimum of three projects to be executed by People With Disabilities, a move Chirundu Council Secretary Embassy Cheembo was willing to facilitate.

Meanwhile, Chirundu Town Council Socio-Economic Planner, Natasha Masamba, urged People With Disabilities (PWDs) in climate stressed Chirundu District, Southern Province, to take advantage of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) to improve their livelihoods.

“The Scope of the CDF has expanded and Budgetary Allocation increased to support Community-Centred Development, encourage entrepreneurship and promote access to education and skills development by orphaned and vulnerable community members. Government empowerment has adopted an inclusive approach to prioritise the Youths, Women, People Living with Disability and other vulnerable persons in the community. CDF will equip beneficiaries with seed money in form of Grants given to Organised Groups, Clubs and Cooperatives and also equip Cooperatives and individuals with established small and medium scale businesses with empowerment loans,” she said.

Ms Masamba said PWDs equally qualify for CDF under Community Based Projects, Youth, Women and Community Empowerment, and Secondary Boarding School and Skills Development Bursaries.

“In 2021 CDF Allocation was 1.6 Million Kwacha, 2022 was 25.7 Million Kwacha, 2023 28.3 Million Kwacha and 2024 it will be 30.6 Million Kwacha. Allocations are 60% for community projects, 20% empowerment which includes 40% grants and 60% loans, and 20% skills and secondary boarding school bursaries. CDF Community Projects shall address challenges of inadequate infrastructure, such as Water and Sanitation Points, Schools, Health Facilities, Police Posts, Feeder Roads, Market Shelters, Crossing Points, Canals and Dip Tanks, among others. Capacity Services shall be outsourced from Technical Service Providers such as TEVETA, NGO’s, Chamber of Commerce, and captains of industry within the Constituency. CDF aims to provide for vulnerable learners to access Secondary Boarding Schools and Skills Training Institutions offering Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Programmes. The scope of CDF has significantly expanded both financially and in terms of the volume of activities to be covered. This calls for increased capacity/awareness on the part of the CDFC and all stakeholders involved in the administration of CDF,” she said.

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