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CDF increment welcomed – ZEHEST

Zambian Empowerment hub for Entrepreneurship and Skills Training (ZEHEST) has welcomed government’s plan of increasing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) from the current K28.3 million  to K57 million next year.

Speaking in an interview with Lusaka Star, ZEHEST Executive Director Clarence Moonde Muzyamba said an increase in CDF is good because it will allow for more skills training,poverty reduction as well as job creation for more youths in Zambia.

Mr.Muzyamba however said that as government seeks to increase budgetary allocation to CDF, it must also address issues that hinder people from accessing it.

 “There are some constituencies that have received their CDF money but there are some that have not yet received including the money from the previous year,” Mr. Muzyamba said.

He added that the procedure for approving projects under CDF takes a lot of time and there is need to restructure the process for easy access to the funds.

“Increasing the CDF is good but there is need to address issues to deal with its access and this can easily be done by consulting private sectors,” he said.

He has since urged the government to collaborate with private sectors and see how best CDF can be applied and implemented for the benefit of empowering communities.

“If CDF can be well implemented in various communities, it can be a game changer,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kelvin Chisanga an economist, said that government must employ a new model of evaluating the impact of CDF by matching it with the expectations that are put across.

Mr. Chisanga said the implementation of CDF has a lot of leakages on the side of resources and as government plans on increasing the money allocated to it there must be measures that will mitigate the current challenges being experienced.

“We hope to see that the decentralization process being done currently will help to cement some those gaps in CDF,” he said.

“We cannot just think of empowering only by increasing huge sums of money when the skills is maybe what is lacking by the local council.”

He said when the money is increased there is also a need to build the capacity within the personnel that are handling these resources.

He added that the increment of the money shows that there is good commitment and productivity from various constituencies that can have a positive effect to the economy.