Copperbelt Province Minister, Elisha Matambo has expressed disappointment at the slow pace at which the local authorities are implementing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects.
Mr Matambo notes that most projects have continued to be delayed despite Councils in the province having money in their coffers for development.
The Minister said during a review meeting on CDF allocations to all constituencies in the province in Ndola that the narrative has to change for people to begin reaping the benefits of the money.
Mr Matambo told the meeting which included Town Clerks, Council Secretaries, Mayors, Council Chairpersons, and District Commissioners (DC) from all the districts and towns that he does not understand how some constituencies have failed to utilise the 2021 CDF when the money is in their accounts.
He urged all the local Authorities in the province to ensure that they complete all the projects planned for in December this year.
“I do not understand why money is still in your accounts as councils when many people in the province are having problems, this has to change to help our people,” Mr Matambo said.
Mr Matambo said people are facing a lot of difficulties in communities to address issues of water, shortages of classroom space for learners, and desks when money to solve such challenges is in councils’ coffers.
The Minister appealed to all the councils to ensure that they sensitize the people on the availability of the CDF for them to apply to ensure that the problems they face are addressed.
He explained that President Hakainde Hichilema has already given people the money through Local Authorities for them to feel part of the governance in ensuring that no one is left behind in development and there should be no delay in helping the community members.
Ndola Town Clerk, Shilla Songolo thanked government for decentralizing the approval of CFD projects to the provinces as it is one issue that has been affecting the speedy implementation of the projects.
Mrs Songolo also appealed for the decentralization of the Attorney General’s office to the provinces as it is one area remaining as projects are still being approved in Lusaka.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Elijah Muchima who was also in attendance commended Mr Matambo for bringing together all the implementers of CDF to find solutions to problems affecting its effective implementation.
This is the best way to address the issues of CDF, I have also learnt from you and inform other Provincial Ministers to do the same so that they gather us in one place to share development ideas,” Mr Muchima said.