LUSAKA – 22/06/22

MINISTER of Local Government and Rural Development Gary Nkombo says over K1.4 billion has been released to his ministry for the constituency Development Fund (CDF), since January this year.

In the 2022 national budget, President Hakainde Hichilema’s new dawn government increased CDF from a trivial K1.6 million to an unprecedented K25.7 million.

Updating the nation on the implementation of CDF at a media briefing at his office in Lusaka today, Mr Nkombo said K1, 402, 484, 355 is what has been released for CDF so far, since January 2022.

Mr Nkombo was flanked at the media briefing by ministers Elvis Nkandu (youth, sports and arts), Doreen Mwamba (community development and social services) and Elias Mubanga (small and medium enterprise development).

The minister said a total of K1, 003, 656, 525 has since been disbursed to respective constituencies for secondary boarding school pupils and skills development bursaries, community projects and empowerment funds, representing 25 per cent of the total allocation for the CDF for all the 156 constituencies in Zambia.

“This entails that each constituency has so far received K6, 433, 695.67 for CDF, which includes five per cent of administrative component,” Mr Nkombo said.

He also said 216 community projects have been approved for implementation in 38 constituencies at an estimated cost of K125, 856, 383.83.

Mr Nkombo further noted that over 10, 200 pupils in 88 constituencies have accessed secondary school bursaries at an estimated cost of K21, 140, 304.68 while over 6, 173 youths in 95 constituencies have accessed skills development bursaries at an estimated cost of K32, 856, 734.00

He added that 536 cooperatives consisting of youth, women and vulnerable community members in 10 constituencies have accessed the empowerment grant at an estimated cost of K10, 121, 690.35.

“Government is cognisant of the need for the CDF disbursement to reach its intended beneficiaries in good time to allow for effective and efficient implementation in line with the CDF guidelines,” Mr Nkombo said.

In this regard, the guidelines outline the clear process and criteria for prioritisation, appraisal and approval of the community projects, and the process of selecting beneficiaries of the bursaries and the empowerment funds.”

Mr Nkombo further said proposed projects and beneficiaries, under CDF, cannot be submitted to his ministry without consideration by the CDF committee.

He singled out Kanchibiya and Kalomo Central constituencies in Muchinga and Southern Provinces, respectively, as constituencies which are doing exceptionally well in CDF implementation.

Meanwhile, Mr Nkandu cautioned youths in the country not to fall for political trickery that CDF is a hoax.

@The Falcon


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