MPs Want Constituency Dev’t Fund Back.
A section of members of parliament has urged the government to restore the Constituency Development Fund-CDF to save MPs from the burden of overwhelming demands of their voters. Legislators claim voters gave them sleepless nights over the Christmas holiday as they begged money for food, meat, alcohol, and other items for the festive season.
They believe the fund can enable them to fix some constituency demands rather than drawing from their pockets to deliver service on behalf of the government.
Under the Constituency Development Fund-CDF, each MP would get Shillings 10 million annually to facilitate development activities in constituencies until it was abolished by the Parliamentary Commission in 2011 for lack of accountability and misuse of the fund by some MPs. However, MPs now want the constituency development fund to be reinstated to help them close a gap of huge constituency demands.
As they returned from the Christmas break, MPs decried the stress they went through during the festive season, as voters camped in their homes with several demands including food, meat, alcohol, building roads, paying school fees, and funeral costs among other requests that overwhelmed their capacity.
Legislators claim the government has abandoned service delivery in constituencies and put a big burden on MPs to deliver government services to people, which is very unfair to them. Some “broke” legislators who preferred anonymity decided to hide from their voters by not traveling upcountry for Christmas.
Lawmakers now want the government to not only reintroduce the Constituency development fund but also bring a bill to provide an enabling law for the fund. Some claim that although the fund was scrapped 12 years ago, voters are not aware and continue to harass them, accusing them of failing to make use of CDF. They also call for a bigger fund, not 10m as it was then.
Dennis Nyangweso , the Samia Bugwe Central legislator who also sits on the budget committee, says MPs have tried reporting their constituency demands to the government but they all turn out as non-funded priorities in national budgets.