Constituency Development Fund Scrapped

7570 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The Fund was introduced six years ago by President Yoweri Museveni , after the MPs pushed him to give them some extra money to contribute to the development activities in their areas.

Members of Parliament have expressed mixed feelings at  the abrupt decision by the parliamentary commission to scrap the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

The Fund  was introduced six years ago by President Yoweri Museveni , after the MPs pushed him to give them some extra money to contribute to the development activities in their areas.

The argument then was that the MPs were over bombarded with requests from their voters for all sorts of contributions ranging from paying school fees, building schools, boreholes, roads and funeral costs.

Government eventually budgeted 10 million shillings for each MP every year but demanded that they account for the funds.

But on Wednesday the decision to scrap the Fund was announced.

The CDF became controversial in the Eighth parliament due to the rampant lack of accountability of the money by the legislators.

Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, a member of the parliamentary commission, said they had reached a conclusion that MPs should be saved from the burden of the money.

Cue In: “What development can you do……….”

Cue Out: “………and oversight function”.

Baryomunsi said the abolishment of the funds would save the parliamentary commission up to 3.7 billion shillings every year, which they now plan to divert to alternative projects of the commission such as the current multi-billion construction of the MPs’ parking space.

As the news spread, a number of MPs said their budgets would be affected, because they have been receiving it in a lump sum. But majority welcomed the decision saying the demand for accountability from the public ,far outweighed the need for the money.

Jimmy Akena, the MP for Lira Municipality and Rose Mary Seninde, the woman MP for Wakiso said that much as some people could have used the funds well to help their constituents, it was hard to allocate to the several development projects in a constituency.

But Moses Balyeku, the MP for Jinja Municipality West, said he was happy that the fund has been scarpped because the funds were not well accounted for by the MPs who received it.

Cue In:  “The amount of interest………”

Cue Out: “……which project can you do”.

Some MPs however said that the fund should have been reviewed and increased.

The Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi, said he had not yet been informed officially of the development but promised to make a substantial comment once he gets to know the exact proposal by the parliamentary commission.

But he said that if the scrapping reduces the overall budget to parliament then it is something good for the treasury. He said that probably what the commission was doing is removing the CDF budget and transferring it to another vote which does not change anything for the treasury.

Muhanakizi said it was still a welcome move since it was difficult for the MPs to account for the money.

Parliament is a self accounting institution of government that runs its own planning, recruitment, budgeting and disbursements through the parliamentary commission.

The scrapping took immediate effect from this financial year that began in July.

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