Monday, May 4, 2015

Researchers flouts over poor governance of CDCF fund in the country

Researchers on social development issues formed by Policy Forum Local Government Group (PFLGG) have attributed poor governance as a major cause of improper management of funds allocated for the Constituency Development Catalyst Fund (CDCF) in the country. In their joint finding report of a three month study done in six constituencies has revealed that, there is poor management in the implementation of four major priority areas outlined in the CDCF. The four priority areas are the rule of law, accountability, participation and equity. The constituencies the study was carried out include Karatu, Siha, Lindi Urban, Kinondoni, Singida West and Kilosa central, whereby researchers have graded the priority areas of CDCF for having been poorly implemented below 50 percent. Presenting the report on behalf of fellow researchers at a breakfast talk organised by the Policy Forum in Dar es Salaam on Friday this week, REPOA’s research Consultant Kenny Manara said that, the bank account has never been opened for the allocated fund to facilitate auditing work since it was established in 2009. The Policy Forum had a discussion conducted by its members to overlook at the effectiveness of the fund under the theme titled, “The shortcut to community progress”? Researchers worked in collaboration with an independent research institution known as REPOA and accomplished the task between September and November of the 2014/15 financial year. Elaborating on four major roles under which the fund operates, the report has concluded that only 50 percent of the implementation is seen in all areas targeted to show the effectiveness of the fund.  According to the report findings, there is still poor governance to show the actual effectiveness of the fund. The report also connotes that, accountability is completely vague as there are no proper accounting records that could show expenditures of the money to give a clear report of auditing.

This is Mr. Kenny Manara

In this area, researchers concluded that, chairpersons of the fund (Elected MPs) through which the study was carried out used the money mostly for their personal interests and gain and not targeting the purpose for which it was established. Citing an example of the 2010 general election, Manara said that most MPs used the fund to print their pictures on T-Shirts that they distributed for campaigning which is contrary to what was purposely intended. The report has elaborated in the area of participation and concluded that the objectives have been violated in the sense that, development committees in districts do not incorporate villagers in their meetings in decision making at a ward levels. The report has found out that all decisions for a particular project to be pursued by the fund are passed at district level an aspect that denies the rights of villagers which is not in accordance with the laws that established the fund. In the area of equity there is no right as most projects are not accomplished once passed an aspect that has caused the existing of poverty stricken situation among the beneficiaries of the fund most of whom are low income people at village level. Contributing to the debate, a participant known as Benadetha Bungulu suggested that, Tanzania needs to amend the laws so as to get rid of MPs who misuse the money targeted for people’s development. However, she said that the Parliament should form a committee that would monitor the all developments under which the money is spent and people in a constituency must be incorporated to see how they benefit as this comes from the tax payers’ coffers.  The fund which was established by an Act of Parliament is always meant to facilitate social development projects such as construction of water wells, dispensaries, purchase of school desks and other related social needs in every electoral constituency in the country. Elected Members of Parliament are automatically entitled to be chairpersons of the fund and have a duty to strictly observe four major priority areas for which the fund was established are strictly implemented for the benefit of the people in a given constituency in the country.

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