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MPs to develop CDF strategies

NAIROBI, August 1 – The Government is now pushing Members of Parliament to develop strategic plans for their constituencies.

Planning Minister Wycliffe Oparanya said Friday that a well prepared Constituency Strategic Plan would be considered in the near future as one of the criteria for the disbursement of Constituency Development Funds (CDF).

“As a government, we are encouraging integrated planning at all levels and this is part of the policy that is clearly reflected in our Vision 2030,” Oparanya stated.

He noted that though there were a lot of positive gains made from CDF programmes, a lack of proper planning reduced its impact, citing that a number of projects remained incomplete while others were spread too thinly on the ground.

The Minister stated that MPs and the Constituency Development Committees needed to change their approach to implementing projects.

“They must be focused and the way to go is to embrace strategic planning and make sure we plan in line with the government’s vision,” he said.

Speaking during the launch of a Constituency Strategic Plan Manual by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Oparanya said he would be requesting the Treasury to make a provision in its supplementary budget estimates, to enable MPs develop strategic plans.

According to the Minister, every constituency would need Sh1 million to prepare a comprehensive plan and these funds were unavailable since MPs had already submitted their CDF proposals for the financial year 2008/9.

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“We will request for Sh210 million, but assistance from the private sector in development planning will be appreciated,” the Planning Minister said.

He observed that there was a great need to have proper coordination to avoid the duplication of efforts and wastage of limited resources as has been the case.

CDF was introduced in 2003 by President Mwai Kibaki’s administration, to ensure adequate and regionally equitable financing of various drivers of the economy, especially at the local levels.

2.5 percent of annual government ordinary revenue is transferred to the 210 constituencies for grassroots development.

In 2007, the CDF Act was amended to give the Ministry of Planning the mandate to oversee the Fund.

Apart from CDF, another crucial development fund is the Local Authority Transfer Fund (LAFT), which transfers five percent of the total government annual ordinary revenue to the 175 local authorities.

The IEA manual will be used to train 183 facilitators in 61 constituencies.

It will assist in guiding the facilitators to carry out a survey to establish the facts about their areas, organise planning workshops for key actors in the constituency to deliberate on the vision, mission and objectives as well constituency priorities based on factual needs assessment.

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