Parliamentarians ‘Steal’ Mk 80 Mn From MK 3 Bn CDF: Arrests Begin Friday When Parliament Closes
About 20 Members of Parliament risk being arrested and prosecuted for allegedly mismanaging Constituendcy Development Fund (CDF), if an internal audit report quoted by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe is anything to go by.
According to Gondwe, about K80 million is missing from the K3 billion allocated to 16 districts under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and District Development Fund (DDF).
He said there are “at least 20 MPs” who are suspected to have mismanaged the CDF in their respective constituencies.
Gondwe, said government would like the suspects to be “brought to book” and that the law will take its course .
MPs held Finance Minister to ransom when passing the 2017/18 National Budget in the National Assembly in Lilongwe by forcing him to raise the CDF from K18 million to K23 million per constituency.
Gondwe told Parliament that a systematic audit of 16 councils was carried out which found that mismanagement of funds in CDF and DDF had occurred and millions of kwacha did not go into development projects as planned.
He said most of the resources, money contributed by Malawians in form of punitive taxes, were abused.
Gondwe said: “In both of these, out of the K3 billion, an amount of over K80 million was misused and where it was used properly, the structures created such as school classrooms, bridges and roads were grossly of substandard and grossly unattractive so that within a short time we will need to create replacements of these structures.”
The Finance Minister emphasised the need to examine the use of resources for grass roots economic development channelled through DDF and CDF as well as Local Development Fund (LDF).
The excerpt from the audit carried out last year which Gondwe read out indicated that MPs were the ones sourcing quotations instead of procurement departments in councils.
The audit also found that such interference was contributing to the creation of ghost projects and materials not being delivered at project sites.
Reads the excerpt in part: “In some cases, the goods and materials were procured from suppliers that were related to the honourable members of Parliament.
“In addition, many projects were initiated by the honourable members of Parliament only without the involvement of their area development committees.”