|Mr Muasya at the Mwanyani Borehole|
Machakos Town'sCDF fiasco
By Jonathan Mutiso
Furious members of Kyeni Kya Mwanyani S.H.G have for the second time appealed to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the Machakos CDF committee saying the kitty is riddled with corruption and mismanagement.
According to the chairman Vincent Muasya, the group wrote a letter to CCF organization seeking sponsorship to dig a borehole. After the application was successful, they further invited the CDF office to distribute the water to the community.
The CDF committee allocated Sh 1.4 for construction of a pump station, purchasing a local pump and Sh 500,000 for piping. Muasya revealed that the pump house was constructed without involvement of the community.
After depositing a cheque of Sh 500,000, a CDF official allegedly called Muasya instructing him to withdraw the whole amount and hand it over to the CDF office for the payment of contractors. This cause the project managers to detect that something was amiss.
Consequently,the group wrote a confidential letter to the Anti-graft body. On May 3 2012, EACC with Ref no 6/25/1 Vol 1 (9)-37887 replied that the commission received the allegations of irregularities in the execution of the project and necessary steps will be taken but nothing has since happened.
It is alleged that a local administrator-the Chief Alice Musa has been threatening the members who fail to adhere to the CDF guidelines on returning the cash to the CDF office. The enraged members have vowed to demonstrate terming her leadership wanting. There have been attempts to raid the account of the group at Family Bank, Machakos, forcing the team to rush to court and safeguard the public funds that officials seem to be targeting.
Efforts to raid the account involve a plan to hold elections to remove officials opposed to withdrawing the cash.
A Machakos court has issued an order that status quo be maintained. A community member by the name Mbithe Mutua donated a piece of land for the construction of the pump house but the CDF committee applied the divide and rule formula to extent the land.
The members alleged there is widespread tempering of the CDF kitty and projects by many powerful hands within the CDF office in terms of disbursement and procurement, a move they attribute to the increase in number of wasted and unaccounted funds.
Residents tired of corrupt practices in project management say they want the CDF committee dissolved pending investigation into the irregular use of millions of money.
They said rampant abuse and mismanagement in CDF operations has given rise to an increasing number of complaints from the public.
The Anchor’s insight investigations have established that despite the rising number of complaints against Members of Parliament (MPs) and their Constituency Development Fund Committees (CDFC’s) across the country, only three cases have been officially prosecuted over the past six years.
The kitty has generated wrangles across the country, with some embattled MPs being accused of misappropriating the money. Some have been accused of funding ghost projects and filing fictitious reports.
”There is need for more tools to facilitate the monitoring of CDF funds not just for local NGOs, but also citizens who are best placed to report on what is going on in their constituency” Muasya said.