Prosecute leaders stealing constituencies cash

Friday, October 29th, 2021 00:00 | By
A school courtesy of Constituency Development Fund project. Photo/PD/Raphael Munge

There is nothing as noble as empowerment of a society. Kenya has tried a myriad development approaches and economic models with many failing and a few succeeding.

One that has been hailed as a silver bullet is the Constituency Development Fund.

Before the advent of devolution, CDF was a model that was thought to cure skewed development where each constituency was given its own budget to determine its development agenda. Projects have been initiated all over the country courtesy of the Fund.

The devolved funds were to spur economic empowerment and liberate thousands through education opportunities.

However, a basic search of CDF on the internet reveals scandal after scandal.

Projects started by past leaders have been abandoned; nepotism is the sole qualification for joining the CDF team; money has been embezzled in the name of ghost projects. And it goes on and on. 

The Fund has been turned into a campaign kitty for incumbent Members of Parliament and even when it has been used on development initiatives, the projects have been initiated in areas where leaders enjoy wide support, with those that oppose the MP’s policies left to their own devices. 

The gravity of this fraud has been revealed by the Auditor General in a report where she fingers more than 110 constituencies for misappropriation of the fund.

The most exposed votes are those of bursaries and development. MPs claim to have paid bursaries for constituents but the audit shows either the schools are non-existent or the students are ghosts. In short, MPs are using county projects to justify CDF pilferage. 

An MP will claim to have built a road or dispensary using CDF cash. However, audits will reveal the project was either funded by the county or national government. The money was stolen.

Mid this year, a special select committee of the National Assembly indicated that more than 700 projects had been abandoned at various stages because MPs claim they were initiated before the 2010 Constitution was inaugurated. A crass explanation.

These leaders are simply sucking the lives out of their constituents. Young lives are ruined because bursary cash is stolen.

Many die because they have no access to healthcare after the MP misappropriated the money.

Now that elections are around the corner, Kenyans should use the opportunity to vote out any MP who has misappropriated the Fund.

Firm action should be taken against these leaders and the excuse that it is a witch-hunt be banished.

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