Malawi: DPP's Musowa, 5 Other MPs Including 3 From MCP Under Probe Over CDF Funds

Fiscal police is investigating Mulanje Bale member of parliament Victor Musowa of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and other five legislators for alleged abuse of Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

CDF--ideally a tool for parliamentary involvement in community level projects within the decentralisation rubric using earmarked public funds under the MP's influence--has become so popular among legislators that they are ready to blackmail the country to secure higher allocations for it every fiscal year.

In an interview, Musowa confirmed he was being investigated, saying he was called by Mulanje District Council officials who requested CDF files for Mulanje Bale Constituency for the past three financial years.

In Parliament, leader of opposition and DPP's Mulanje Cantal legislator, Kondwani Nankhumwa claimed Musowa's probe was politically motivated.

Nankhumwa said the opposition suspected that Musowa was being probed following his declaration in parliament on Monday that he will stage a lone demonstration at Parliament Building to push government resolve the teachers strike over demands for Covid-19 risk allowances.

He said the Musowa probe is a ploy to silence the vocal legislator.

But Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda dismissed Nankhumwa's assertions that Musowa was being targeted, saying five other constituencies were also subject to the same Fiscal Police probe relating to the use of CDF.

Chimwendo Banda, who is also Minister of Homeland Security, said apart from Musowa's Mulanje Bale constituency, other constituency under investigations on CDF are ; Dowa West, Dowa Central, Dowa North East, Mulanje Pasani and Mulanje West.

"The investigations are happening in six constituencies," said Chimwendo Banda.

"What baffles us is the same investigations also happened in Mzimba West, but the member of parliament did not complain.

"There are three constituencies in Dowa that are being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau over CDF and their MPs are from the ruling [Malawi Congress Party]."

Ghost projects, dubious procurement, over-pricing and substandard works are usually used to abuse CDF.

Policy and development specialist Blessings Chinsinga argues that there is no question that the cause of the CDF sounds noble but its architecture and the circumstances under which it was introduced raise more questions than answers.

More From: Nyasa Times

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