By Vincent Bwinga
Community Action Group (CAG) members from Lupembe and Mbande ADC have expressed concern that guidelines for development projects under Constituency Development Fund, District Development Fund, and Local Development Funds are not being followed in the implementation of projects.
Speaking during the orientation workshop at Club Marina in Karonga, on 11 September 2018, Gilbert Msukwa said they were amazed why implementers of local development projects choose not to follow the guidelines which are very clear.
He cited CDF guidelines which demand for members of parliament to engage Area Development Committees (ADCs) and councilors, in identification of projects with reference to the District Development Plan, which is not the case in his area.
“Projects are implemented without project implementation committees (PICs) and funds are being managed as personal funds. This is a direct contrast to what is outlined in the guidelines,” said Msukwa.
Also commenting during the workshop, Mercy Ndovie said the district council gets 5% from funds allocated to District Development Funds for monitoring among others but projects are not being visited. She questioned how the 5% money is being spent.
“DDF projects are not being supervised which leads to poor quality and others remain incomplete for years,” said Mercy Ndovie.
Community Action Group members hailed the Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese for coming up with Citizen Action in Local Government Accountability (CALGA) project which they said has equipped them on how they can monitor and track public resources.
CAG members promised to intensify community awareness on local development resources guidelines and demand for transparency and accountability where necessary.
CALGA project is being implemented by the Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese in Karonga and Chitipa districts with funding from Irish Government through Danish Church Aid.