By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa
Every year 2.5% of all the government’s ordinary revenue is allocated to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Three quarters of the 2.5% is allocated equally between the 210 constituencies. The remaining quarter is allocated on the basis of a combination of the national and individual constituency poverty indexes. While 2.5% may not seem like a lot, in the 2009/2010 fiscal year 2.5% amounted to approximately Kshs 14.5 billion allocated to ensure that the fight against poverty is carried out at the constituency level by implementation of development projects that have wide spread benefits to residents of different constituencies.
The developmental results, howeverm do not match the figures. A social audit report done by TISA tells the story of a surprising number of stalled CDF projects and wastage millions of shillings. In Emabakasi, Westlands and Langata constituencies approximately 46 million
kshs has been injected into projects, which have now stalled. In addition, a significant amount of monies cannot be accounted for – for example, 6.8 million Kshs isunaccounted for from Kasarani’s CDF.
White elephants and missing funds are not the only issue plaguing the management of
CDF – nepotism is also a problem. Just last week Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya accused Western MPs of employing their wives and relatives to manage the funds. Such accusations are not confined to Western Province.
So what is the cost of the misuse and management of CDF? The Social Audit Report
finds that almost 50% of all CDF are redirected to purposes for which they were not
intended. So of Kshs 14.5 billion that’s Kshs. 7.25 billion misappropriated in 2009/2010
Who’s accountable? At the constituency level a CDF committee manages the funds. The
committee is made up of the area MP, the District Officer, 2 Councillors, 2 Religious
Leaders, an NGO rep, a youth rep, 2 men and women from the constituency and 3
committee members. The buck stops primarily with them.
Though the new constitution provides that county governments will eventually take up
the role of management of devolved funds such as CDF. In the 2010/2011 and 2011/
2012 fiscal years the constituency development fund disbursements will be made. Who’s
monitoring the management & expenditure of the funds?