Constituency Development Fund Bill gathers dust
18 June 2020 | Government
It has been six years since the Constituency Development Fund Bill was tabled in parliament, yet the bill is still awaiting a cabinet decision.
The bill, which is an initiative of the National Council and was tabled on 18 February 2014, aims to fast-track developmental activities at constituency level and address the issue of some constituencies being marginalised in terms of project funding.
The bill was prompted by the constant criticism that regional constituency offices are not spearheading development.
However, constituency offices have limited budgets and the funding for capital projects comes from the central government when resources allow.
Communities often complain about a lack of clean water and electricity, to which constituency councillors respond that they have made proposals to central government and are waiting for feedback.
That is why the constituency councillors who make up the National Council saw the need for such a fund to be created.
Regional consultations were held prior to the tabling of the bill and the response was positive.
Last Friday, Margret Mensah-Williams, the former chairperson of the National Council and now Swapo Party member of the National Assembly, asked about the status of the Constituency Development Fund Bill during the budget vote for the urban and rural development ministry.
Urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni replied that the cabinet had discussed the matter last year and that the cabinet treasury committee was dealing with it.
Uutoni said that the matter was also discussed in March this year and progress was being made but it was still unclear when the bill would be passed.
“The National Council initiative in the form of a Constituency Development Fund Bill is receiving our attention,” Uutoni said.
“The ministry of urban and rural development and the treasury committee, together with the National Council, are in consultation and again in March this year a discussion was there and I hope very soon we will inform you with what is going on with Constituency Development Fund,” Uutoni said.