THIRTY-nine constituencies are yet to receive last year’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocation amounting to about K50.7 million due to their failure to submit annual returns as well as delayed release of the money by the treasury.
And the Ministry of Finance has reimbursed K1.3 million CDF for Rufunsa, which was allegedly embezzled by some Ministry of Local Government and Housing officials in 2013.
Ministry of Local Government and Housing permanent secretary Stanford Msichili said this in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
He named some of the affected constituencies as Kabwata in Lusaka Province; Katuba and Kembe in Central Province; Senga Hill and Chimbamilonga in Northern Province, Isoka in Muchinga Province, Sesheke in Western Province; Chikankata and Livingstone in Southern Province.
Others are Chililabombwe on the Copperbelt, Kasenengwa in Eastern; and Solwezi-West in North-Western Province.
Mr Msichili said the delayed release of funds is non-political as evidenced by the fact that the 39 constituencies are across the country.
He advised councils that are yet to submit their 2013 CDF annual returns to do so to enable them receive the 2014 allocation.
Mr Mschili said the ministry has written to the Ministry of Finance to prioritise the disbursement of funds to constituencies that are up to date with annual returns.
“Some of the councils that have not yet received funding for last year are yet to exhaust the allocation for 2013 while the other reason is generally delayed release of funds by the treasury,” he said.
He said he has also written to the Ministry of Finance requesting the release of this year’s CDF allocation before the onset of rains to enable local authorities effectively execute projects.
Mr Msichili, however, advised councils to plan and prioritise projects when the money is released.
And Mr Msichili said Runfusa has been reimbursed the 2013 CDF allocation, which was allegedly stolen by some officials at the ministry.
He said after a forensic audit, some officials were arrested over the missing funds.
He said the Drug Enforcement Commission is handling the matter and it is in court.
“The named officials are still appearing in court and it is up to the court to decide on the matter,” he said.